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 :. | Evening on the Prairie | Donner Lake from the Summit | Ruins-Campagna of Rome | Lake Lucerne, Switzerland | Buffalo Bill Historical Center |
Related Artists:TOURNIER, Nicolas
French Baroque Era Painter, 1590-ca.1638David Teniers the Younger
(December 15, 1610 C April 25, 1690), a Flemish artist born in Antwerp, was the more celebrated son of David Teniers the Elder, almost ranking in celebrity with Rubens and Van Dyck. His son David Teniers III and his grandson David Teniers IV were also painters. His wife Anna nee, Anna Breughel was the daughter of Jan Brueghel the Elder and the granddaughter of Pieter Bruegel the Elder.
Through his father, he was indirectly influenced by Elsheimer and by Rubens. The influence of Adriaen Brouwer can be traced to the outset of his career. There is no evidence, however, that either Rubens or Brouwer interfered in any way with Teniers's education, and Smith (Catalogue Raisonne) may be correct in supposing that the admiration which Brouwer's pictures at one time excited alone suggested to the younger artist his imitation of them. The only trace of personal relations having existed between Teniers and Rubens is the fact that the ward of the latter, Anne Breughel, the daughter of Jan (Velvet) Breughel, married Teniers in 1637.
French Realist Painter, 1819-1877
Gustave Courbet was born at Ornans on June 10, 1819. He appears to have inherited his vigorous temperament from his father, a landowner and prominent personality in the Franche-Comt region. At the age of 18 Gustave went to the College Royal at Besançon. There he openly expressed his dissatisfaction with the traditional classical subjects he was obliged to study, going so far as to lead a revolt among the students. In 1838 he was enrolled as an externe and could simultaneously attend the classes of Charles Flajoulot, director of the cole des Beaux-Arts. At the college in Besançon, Courbet became fast friends with Max Buchon, whose Essais Poetiques (1839) he illustrated with four lithographs. In 1840 Courbet went to Paris to study law, but he decided to become a painter and spent much time copying in the Louvre. In 1844 his Self-Portrait with Black Dog was exhibited at the Salon. The following year he submitted five pictures; only one, Le Guitarrero, was accepted. After a complete rejection in 1847, the Liberal Jury of 1848 accepted all 10 of his entries, and the critic Champfleury, who was to become Courbet's first staunch apologist, highly praised the Walpurgis Night. Courbet achieved artistic maturity with After Dinner at Ornans, which was shown at the Salon of 1849. By 1850 the last traces of sentimentality disappeared from his work as he strove to achieve an honest imagery of the lives of simple people, but the monumentality of the concept in conjunction with the rustic subject matter proved to be widely unacceptable. At this time the notion of Courbet's "vulgarity" became current as the press began to lampoon his pictures and criticize his penchant for the ugly. His nine entries in the Salon of 1850 included the Portrait of Berlioz, the Man with the Pipe, the Return from the Fair, the Stone Breakers, and, largest of all, the Burial at Ornans, which contains over 40 life-size figures whose rugged features and static poses are reinforced by the somber landscape. A decade later Courbet wrote: "The basis of realism is the negation of the ideal. Burial at Ornans was in reality the burial of romanticism." In 1851 the Second Empire was officially proclaimed, and during the next 20 years Courbet remained an uncompromising opponent of Emperor Napoleon III. At the Salon of 1853, where the painter exhibited three works, the Emperor pronounced one of them, The Bathers, obscene; nevertheless, it was purchased by a Montpellier innkeeper, Alfred Bruyas, who became the artist's patron and host. While visiting Bruyas in 1854 Courbet painted his first seascapes. Among them is the Seashore at Palavas, in which the artist is seen waving his hat at the great expanse of water. In a letter to Jules Vall's written in this period Courbet remarked: "Oh sea! Your voice is tremendous, but it will never succeed in drowning out the voice of Fame shouting my name to the entire world." Courbet was handsome and flamboyant, naively boastful, and aware of his own worth. His extraordinary selfconfidence is also evident in another painting of 1854, The Meeting, in which Courbet, stick in hand, approaches Bruyas and his servant, who welcome him with reverential attitudes. It has recently been shown that the picture bears a relationship to the theme of the Wandering Jew as it was commonly represented in the naive imagery of the popular Épinal prints. Of the 14 paintings Courbet submitted to the Paris World Exhibition of 1855, 3 major ones were rejected. In retaliation, he showed 40 of his pictures at a private pavilion he erected opposite the official one. In the preface to his catalog Courbet expressed his intention "to be able to represent the customs, the ideas, the appearance of my own era according to my own valuation; to be not only a painter but a man as well; in short, to create living art." One of the rejected works was the enormous painting The Studio, the full title of which was Real Allegory, Representing a Phase of Seven Years of My Life as a Painter. The work is charged with a symbolism which, in spite of obvious elements, remains obscure. At the center, between the two worlds expressed by the inhabitants of the left and right sides of the picture, is Courbet painting a landscape while a nude looks over his shoulder and a child admires his work. Champfleury found the notion of a "real allegory" ridiculous and concluded that Courbet had lost the conviction and simplicity of the earlier works. Young Ladies by the Seine (1856) only served to further convince the critic of Courbet's diminished powers. But if Courbet had begun to disappoint the members of the old realist circle, his popular reputation, particularly outside France, was growing. He visited Frankfurt in 1858-1859, where he took part in elaborate hunting parties and painted a number of scenes based on direct observation. His Stag Drinking was exhibited in Besançon, where Courbet won a medal, and in 1861 his work, as well as a lecture on his artistic principles, met with great success in Antwerp. With the support of the critic Jules Castagnary, Courbet opened a school where students dissatisfied with the training at the cole des Beaux-Arts could hear him extol the virtues of independence from authority and dedication to nature.