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 :. | Yosemite Valley | The Wolf River | Moose Hunters' Camp, Nova Scotia | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Roman Fish Market, Arch of Octavius |
Related Artists:VAFFLARD, Pierre-Auguste
French painter b. 1777, Paris, d. 1837, Paris,French painter. A pupil of Jean-Baptiste Regnault, he exhibited regularly in the Salon between 1800 and 1831. He executed a number of unremarkable academic works on Classical subjects, for example Electra (1804; exh. Salon 1814) and Orestes Sleeping (1819; both Dijon, Mus. B.-A.). Vafflard gained more success with his Troubadour pictures, which he began to paint in the early 19th century, at the outset of this fashion. They are remarkable for their absence of colour, their theatrical quality and contrasted lighting effects. One of his earliest Troubadour scenes was Emma and Eginhard (exh. Salon 1804; Evreux, Mus. Evreux), based on an episode in the history of Charlemagne's court and painted at a time when the Holy Roman Empire was in fashion in official French circles. In this sentimental painting Vafflard demonstrated his historicizing intentions by emphasizing medieval costume and Gothic architecture and seeking to create an atmosphere similar to the romans de la chevalerie, so highly thought of in France at the end of the 18th century. In the same Salon he exhibited a strange and novel painting, Young Holding his Dead Daughter in his Arms (Angouleme, Mus. Mun.), taken from Edward Young's Night Thoughts (pubd in French in 1769-70). Jean-Baptiste Pillement
(Lyon, 24 May 1728 - Lyon, 26 April 1808) was a painter and designer, known for his exquisite and delicate landscapes, but whose importance lies primarily in the engravings done after his drawings, and their influence in spreading the Rococo style and particularly the taste for chinoiserie throughout Europe.
Pillement had an unusually cosmopolitan career. In 1743, at the age of 15, he moved from Lyon to Paris where he was employed as an apprentice designer at the Gobelin factory. In 1745 he left for Spain, where he remained for 5 years. There he found employment in various cities as both a designer and painter. A landscape dated 1748 reveals rustic themes he was to repeat often: sun bathed shepherds leading their goats and sheep to a cascading stream, a water mill, rocky elevations covered in lush vegetation, and the poeticized relics of an ancient bridge. In 1750, at the age of 22, he moved to Lisbon, where he enjoyed continuing success. The lure of travel compelled him to decline an offer to become First Painter to King Joseph of Portugal ?, and in 1754 he left Lisbon for London.
Pillement then spent eight years in England, fully exploiting the English taste for landscapes. There he was inspired by the paintings of, among others, Nicolaes Berchem. During this period he became acquainted with David Garrick, the famous actor, and his Austrian wife Eva Maria Weigel, who became avid collectors of his work. In 1763 Pillement then traveled to Vienna, where he was employed at the Imperial Court of Maria Theresa and Francis I. In 1765 he left Vienna for Warsaw, where his many projects included decorating the Royal Castle in Warsaw and the Ujazdowski Castle, his largest project, commissioned by Stanisław August Poniatowski. He also later worked in Saint Petersburg, the Piedmont, Milan, Rome and Venice. 1768-1780 Pillement again worked in France, where he was employed by Marie Antoinette in the Petit Trianon. 1780-1789 he was once again on the Iberian Peninsula, and in 1789 moved to Pezenas in the Languedoc. In 1800 he returned to Lyon, where he continued to paint while also designing for the silk industry and giving lessons in the Academy founded by Napoleon.Antonio Fiorentino
Italian, 14th Century