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 :. | Landscape Study, Yosemite California | Sunset over a Mountain Lake | Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley | Harbor_Scene | Mariposa Indian Encampment, Yosemite Valley, California |
Related Artists:Jean Delville
Belgian Symbolist Painter, 1867-1953
Belgian painter, decorative artist and writer. He studied at the Academie Royale des Beaux-Arts, Brussels, with Jean-Franeois Portaels and the Belgian painter Joseph Stallaert (1825-1903). Among his fellow students were Eugene Laermans, Victor Rousseau and Victor Horta. From 1887 he exhibited at L Essor, where in 1888 Mother (untraced), which depicts a woman writhing in labour, caused a scandal. Although his drawings of the metallurgists working in the Cockerill factories near Charleroi were naturalistic, from 1887 he veered towards Symbolism: the drawing of Tristan and Isolde (1887; Brussels, Musees Royaux B.-A.), in its lyrical fusion of the two bodies, reveals the influence of Richard Wagner. Circle of the Passions (1889), inspired by Dante Alighieri Divina commedia, was burnt c. 1914; only drawings remain (Brussels, Musees Royaux B.-A.). Jef Lambeaux copied it for his relief Human Passions (1890-1900; Brussels, Parc Cinquantenaire). Delville became associated with Josephin Peladan, went to live in Paris and exhibited at the Salons de la Rose+Croix, created there by Peladan (1892-5). A devoted disciple of Peladan, he had his tragedies performed in Brussels and in 1895 painted his portrait (untraced). He exhibited Dead Orpheus (1893; Brussels, Gillion-Crowet priv. col.), an idealized head, floating on his lyre towards reincarnation, and Angel of Splendour (1894; Brussels, Gillion-Crowet priv. col.), a painting of great subtlety.GAINSBOROUGH, Thomas
English Rococo Era/Romantic Painter, 1727-1788
English painter, draughtsman and printmaker. He was the contemporary and rival of Joshua Reynolds, who honoured him on 10 December 1788 with a valedictory Discourse (pubd London, 1789), in which he stated: 'If ever this nation should produce genius sufficient to acquire to us the honourable distinction of an English School, the name of Gainsborough will be transmitted to posterity, in the history of Art, among the very first of that rising name.' He went on to consider Gainsborough's portraits, landscapes and fancy pictures within the Old Master tradition, against which, in his view, modern painting had always to match itself. Reynolds was acknowledging a general opinion that Gainsborough was one of the most significant painters of their generation. Less ambitious than Reynolds in his portraits, he nevertheless painted with elegance and virtuosity. He founded his landscape manner largely on the study of northern European artists and developed a very beautiful and often poignant imagery of the British countryside. By the mid-1760s he was making formal allusions to a wide range of previous art, from Rubens and Watteau to, eventually, Claude and Titian. He was as various in his drawings and was among the first to take up the new printmaking techniques of aquatint and soft-ground etching. Because his friend, the musician and painter William Jackson (1730-1803), claimed that Gainsborough detested reading, there has been a tendency to deny him any literacy. He was, nevertheless, as his surviving letters show, verbally adept, extremely witty and highly cultured. He loved music and performed well. He was a person of rapidly changing moods, humorous, brilliant and witty. At the time of his death he was expanding the range of his art, having lived through one of the more complex and creative phases in the history of British painting. He painted with unmatched skill and bravura; while giving the impression of a kind of holy innocence, he was among the most artistically learned and sophisticated painters of his generation. It has been usual to consider his career in terms of the rivalry with Reynolds that was acknowledged by their contemporaries; while Reynolds maintained an intellectual and academic ideal of art, Gainsborough grounded his imagery on contemporary life, maintaining an aesthetic outlook previously given its most powerful expression by William Hogarth. fanny ekbom
male model on a barrel