German-born American Hudson River School Painter, 1830-1902
Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833. He studied painting with the members of the D??sseldorf School in D??sseldorf, Germany from 1853 to 1857. He taught drawing and painting briefly before devoting himself to painting.
Bierstadt began making paintings in New England and upstate New York. In 1859, he traveled westward in the company of a Land Surveyor for the U.S. government, returning with sketches that would result in numerous finished paintings. In 1863 he returned west again, in the company of the author Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whose wife he would later marry. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career.
Though his paintings sold for princely sums, Bierstadt was not held in particularly high esteem by critics of his day. His use of uncommonly large canvases was thought to be an egotistical indulgence, as his paintings would invariably dwarf those of his contemporaries when they were displayed together. The romanticism evident in his choices of subject and in his use of light was felt to be excessive by contemporary critics. His paintings emphasized atmospheric elements like fog, clouds and mist to accentuate and complement the feel of his work. Bierstadt sometimes changed details of the landscape to inspire awe. The colors he used are also not always true. He painted what he believed is the way things should be: water is ultramarine, vegetation is lush and green, etc. The shift from foreground to background was very dramatic and there was almost no middle distance
Nonetheless, his paintings remain popular. He was a prolific artist, having completed over 500 (possibly as many as 4000) paintings during his lifetime, most of which have survived. Many are scattered through museums around the United States. Prints are available commercially for many. Original paintings themselves do occasionally come up for sale, at ever increasing prices. Related Paintings of Albert Bierstadt :. | View of Chimney Rock, Ogalillalh Sioux Village in Foreground | A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mr. Rosalie | Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountains | Albert Bierstadt Looking Down Yosemite Valley | Among the Sierra Nevada,California |
Related Artists:Mattia Preti
1613-1699 Italian Mattia Preti Gallery
Born in the small town of Taverna in Calabria, Preti was sometimes called Il Cavalier Calabrese (the Knight of Calabria). His early apprenticeship is said to have been with the "Caravaggist" Giovanni Battista Caracciolo, which may account for his life-long interest in the style of Caravaggio.
Probably before 1630, Preti joined his brother Gregorio (also a painter), in Rome, where he became familiar with the techniques of Caravaggio and his school as well as with the work of Guercino, Rubens, Reni, Giovanni Lanfranco. In Rome, he painted fresco cycles in Sant'Andrea della Valle and San Carlo ai Catinari. Between 1644 and 1646, he may have spent time in Venice, but remained based in Rome until 1653, returning later in 1660-61. He painted frescoes for the church of San Biago at Modena (app. 1651-2) and participated in the fresco decoration of the Palazzo Pamphilj in Valmontone (documented 1660-61), where he worked along with Pier Francesco Mola, Gaspar Dughet, Francesco Cozza, Giovanni Battista Tassi (il Cortonese), and Guglielmo Cortese.
Jacob blessing his grandchildren, Ephraim and Manasseh, in the presence Joseph and their mother Asenath. Whitfield Fine Art Gallery, London.During most of 1653-1660, he worked in Naples, where he was influenced by the other major Neapolitan painter of his era, Luca Giordano. One of Preti's masterpieces were a series of large frescoes, ex-votos of the plague (which were painted on seven city gates but have since been lost to the ravages of time), depicting the Virgin or saints delivering people from the plague. Two sketches are in the Capodimonte Museum in Naples. The bozzetto of the Virgin with the baby Jesus looming over the dying and their burial parties envisions a Last Judgement presided over by a woman. Preti's salary for the work was 1500 ducats. Preti also won a commission to supervise the construction, carving, and gilding for the nave and transept of San Pietro a Maiella.
Having been made a Knight of Grace in the Order of St John, he visited the order??s headquarters in Malta in 1659 and spent most of the remainder of his life there. Preti transformed the interior of St. John's Co-Cathedral in Valletta, with a huge series of paintings on the life and martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (1661-1666). In Malta one also can find many paintings of Preti in private collections and in parish churches. His increased reputation led to an expanded circle of patrons, and he received commissions from all over Europe.
Preti was fortunate to enjoy a long career and have a considerable artistic output. His paintings, representative of the exuberant late Baroque style, are held by many great museums, including important collections in Naples, Valletta, and in his hometown of Taverna.Leibl, Wilhelm
German Realist Painter, 1844-1900
German painter, draughtsman and etcher. In 1861 he abandoned his apprenticeship as a locksmith in order to train as a precision instrument maker, though a month or so later he decided to train as an artist, at first under the Cologne history painter and writer Hermann Becker (1817-85). In 1863 he moved to Munich; he studied there from March 1864, at the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, initially under Philipp von Foltz and Alexander Straehuber, drawing from plaster casts, and later in Hermann Ansch?tz's painting class. Here, Arthur von Ramberg (1819-75) stimulated Leibl's sensitivity to colour; and Karl Theodor von Piloty encouraged him to observe reality and incorporate its lessons boldly into compositions on historical themes. From the start, however, Leibl tended to think of his pictures in terms of form rather than content. While at the Akademie he first reached a standard of excellence with his draughtmanship, which is notable for its directness and objectivity. As an artist, Leibl's early works were not especially promising. However, as occurred throughout his career, a long period of mediocrity was crowned by an unexpected masterpiece, such as his portrait drawing of Aunt Josepha (c. 1864; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.). This is particularly striking for Leibl's use of the hands to add to the expression of the sitter's character and mood, a device he was to use frequently in later work. In Munich, Leibl supplemented the teaching of the Akademie by studying the works of the Old Masters in the Alte Pinakothek: he paid particular attention to painters of the Baroque period such as van Dyck, Cornelis de Vos and Rubens, and also to other great masters of portraiture such as Frans Hals and Vel?zquez. The presentation of the subject found in such works is reflected in Leibl's portrait of Frau Gedon (1869; Munich, Neue Pin.). When the work was shown at the Grossen Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich in 1869 it was singled out as the best oil painting of the exhibition by Gustave Courbet and, as a result, Leibl was honoured with an invitation to Paris, where he arrived on 13 November 1869. Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant
(also known as Benjamin Constant), born Jean-Joseph Constant (10 June 1845 - 26 May 1902), was a French painter and etcher best known for his Oriental subjects and portraits.
Benjamin-Constant was born in Paris. He studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, where he was a pupil of Alexandre Cabanel. A journey to Morocco in 1872 strongly influenced his early artistic development and lead him to produce Romantic scenes under the spell of Orientalism. Among his noted works in this vein are Last Rebels, Justice in the Harem (both in the Luxembourg Gallery), Les Cherifas, and Moroccan Prisoners (Bordeaux). His large canvas, The Entrance of Mahomet II into Constantinople (Toulouse Museum), received a medal in 1876.
After 1880, he changed his manner, devoting himself to mural decorations and to portraits. Prominent examples include the great plafond in the Hôtel de Ville, Paris, entitled Paris Convening the World; his paintings in the New Sorbonne, representing Literature, The Sciences, and the Academy of Paris; and the plafond of the Opera Comique theatre. He was distinguished as a portrait painter, especially in England, where he was a favorite of the aristocracy. His portrait Mons fils Andra (Luxembourg) was awarded a medal of honor at the Salon in 1896.
Benjamin-Constant painted Pope Leo XIII, Queen Alexandra of England (1901), Lord John Lumley-Savile, and Henri Blowitz (1902). He was made a member of the Institute in 1893, and was a commander of the Legion of Honor. He visited the United States several times, and painted a number of portraits. The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York owns a large mural decoration by Benjamin-Constant entitled Justinian in Council.