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 :. | Lake in the Rockies | Buffalo Head | Departure of an Indian War Party | Rocky Mountains | The Old Mill |
Related Artists:Dyck, Anthony van
Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1599-1641
Flemish painter and draughtsman, active also in Italy and England. He was the leading Flemish painter after Rubens in the first half of the 17th century and in the 18th century was often considered no less than his match. A number of van Dyck's studies in oil of characterful heads were included in Rubens's estate inventory in 1640, where they were distinguished neither in quality nor in purpose from those stocked by the older master. Although frustrated as a designer of tapestry and, with an almost solitary exception, as a deviser of palatial decoration, van Dyck succeeded brilliantly as an etcher. He was also skilled at organizing reproductive engravers in Antwerp to publish his works, in particular The Iconography (c. 1632-44), comprising scores of contemporary etched and engraved portraits, eventually numbering 100, by which election he revived the Renaissance tradition of promoting images of uomini illustri. His fame as a portrait painter in the cities of the southern Netherlands, as well as in London, Genoa, Rome and Palermo, has never been outshone; and from at least the early 18th century his full-length portraits were especially prized in Genoese, British and Flemish houses,Jacob Smits
German Jacob Smits Gallery MASSYS, Quentin
Flemish Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1465-1530
Quentin Massys, also spelled Matsys or Metsys, was born in Louvain, the son of a blacksmith. He is traditionally thought to have been trained in that craft by his father. Art in Louvain while Massys was growing up was dominated by Dirk Bouts. Massys became a member of the painters' guild in Antwerp in 1491 and died there in 1530. He represented a current of painting that flourished in Antwerp at this time of its sudden new prosperity. Erwin Panofsky (1953) described this trend, "archaism of around 1500," as "a prelude to, in fact a fact of, the Renaissance in Netherlandish painting," which prevailed in the southern Netherlands. The monumental Enthroned Madonna (Brussels), an early work by Massys, has features recalling both Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck. The central panel of Massys' imposing St. Anne Altarpiece, or the Holy Kinship (Brussels), which was commissioned for the church of St-Pierre in Louvain in 1507 and signed and dated 1509, has a prototype in the Holy Kinship of Geertgen tot Sint Jans. Even the physical types and costumes in Massys' version refer to Geertgen's. But Massys placed his rhythmically balanced figure groups in a domed, arcaded loggia that in architectural style appears to be reaching for a Renaissance vocabulary it cannot quite attain; certainly the architecture evokes a later period than that represented by the Gothic throne of the Enthroned Madonna. The calm and restraint of the St. Anne Altarpiece are replaced by heightened emotional expression in the next important painting by Massys that can be firmly dated, the Deposition triptych (Antwerp). This was commissioned in 1508 by the guild of joiners in Antwerp for their chapel in the Cathedral; Massys completed the composition in 1511. It was inspired by Rogier van der Weyden's great Deposition, which was in the church of St-Pierre in Louvain in Massys' time, and also quotes from Rogier's Entombment. Massys painted genre subjects, possibly with emblematic meaning, such as A Money Changer and His Wife, which belonged to a Netherlandish tradition that maintained its popularity right through the 17th century. In portraiture he made significant contributions. His pair of portraits of Erasmus and Petrus Aegidius, painted in 1517 for Sir Thomas More, set the pattern for representations of the scholar in his study.