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 :. | A Native of the Woods | California Redwoods | Lake in the Rockies | Moonlit Landscape | Farallon Islands, off San Francisco in the Pacific, Northern California |
Related Artists:Anton Raffael Mengs
a pastel portrait painter
Alexander Mark Rossi
fl.1870-1903,the British Victorian artist
Francisco de goya y Lucientes
b. March 30, 1746, Fuendetodos, Spain--d. April 16, 1828,
Goya is considered the 18th Century's foremost painter and etcher of Spanish culture, known for his realistic scenes of battles, bullfights and human corruption. Goya lived during a time of upheaval in Spain that included war with France, the Inquisition, the rule of Napoleon's brother, Joseph, as the King of Spain and, finally, the reign of the Spanish King Ferdinand VII. Experts proclaim these events -- and Goya's deafness as a result of an illness in 1793 -- as central to understanding Goya's work, which frequently depicts human misery in a satiric and sometimes nightmarish fashion. From the 1770s he was a royal court painter for Charles III and Charles IV, and when Bonaparte took the throne in 1809, Goya swore fealty to the new king. When the crown was restored to Spain's Ferdinand VII (1814), Goya, in spite of his earlier allegiance to the French king, was reinstated as royal painter. After 1824 he lived in self-imposed exile in Bordeaux until his death, reportedly because of political differences with Ferdinand. Over his long career he created hundreds of paintings, etchings, and lithographs, among them Maya Clothed and Maya Nude (1798-1800); Caprichos (1799-82); The Second of May 1808 and The Third of May 1808 (1814); Disasters of War (1810-20); and The Black Paintings (1820-23).