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 View in the Bahamas | Canoes | Beach at Nassau | California Sunset |
Related Artists:Benjamin Robert Haydon
English Romantic Painter, 1786-1846
1786-1846.was an English historical painter and writer. Haydon was born at Plymouth. His mother was the daughter of the Rev. Benjamin Cobley, rector of Dodbrooke, near Kingsbridge, Devon. Her brother, General Sir Thomas Cobley, was renowned for his part in the siege of Ismail. Benjamin's father, a prosperous printer, stationer and publisher, was well known in Plymouth. Haydon, an only son, at an early date showed an aptitude for study, which was carefully fostered by his mother. At the age of six he was placed in Plymouth grammar school, and at twelve in Plympton St Mary School, the same school where Sir Joshua Reynolds had received most of his education. On the ceiling of the school-room was a sketch by Reynolds in burnt cork, which Haydon loved to sit and look at. Whilst at school he had some thought of adopting the medical profession, but he was so shocked at the sight of an operation that he gave up the idea. Reading Albinus inspired him with a love for anatomy; but from childhood he had wanted to become a painter. Full of energy and hope, he left home, on 14 May 1804, for London, and entered the Royal Academy as a student. He was so enthusiastic that Henry Fuseli asked when he ever found time to eat. Aged twenty-one (1807) Haydon exhibited, for the first time, at the Royal Academy, The Repose in Egypt, which was bought by Thomas Hope the year after for the Egyptian Room at his townhouse in Duchess Street. This was a good start for the young artist, who shortly received a commission from Lord Mulgrave and an introduction to Sir George Beaumont. In 1809 he finished his well-known picture of Dentatus, which, though it increased his fame, resulted in a lifelong quarrel with the Royal Academy, whose committee had hung it in a small side-room instead of the great hall. That same year, he took on his first pupil, Charles Lock Eastlake, later destined to become one of the great figures of the British art establishment. In 1810 his financial difficulties began when the allowance of £200 a year from his father was stopped. His disappointment was embittered by the controversies in which he now became involved with Beaumont, for whom he had painted his picture of Macbeth, and Richard Payne Knight, who had denied the beauties as well as the money value of the Elgin Marbles.WEENIX, Jan
Dutch painter (b. 1642, Amsterdam, d. 1719, Amsterdam). George Shalders