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 Falls | Storm in the Rocky Mountains Mt Rosalie | Valley of the Yosemite | Moose Hunters' Camp, Nova Scotia | Seal Rock, California |
Related Artists:Eduardo Leon Garrido
(13 May 1794 - 20 March 1835), Swiss painter, was born at La Chaux-de-Fonds (Neuchâtel) in Switzerland, but left his native place with the engraver Girardet at the age of sixteen for Paris.
He was on the eve of obtaining the grand prix for engraving when the events of 1815 blasted his hopes, for Neuchâtel was restored to Prussia, and Robert was struck off the list of competitors as a foreigner. Whilst continuing his studies under Girardet he had never ceased to frequent the studio of David, and he now determined to become a painter, and only returned to his native country when his master himself was exiled. At Neuchâtel he attracted the notice of Roullet de Mezerac, who enabled him by a timely loan to proceed to Rome. In depicting the customs and life of the people, of southern Italy especially, he showed peculiar feeling for the historical characteristics of their race.
After executing many detached studies of Italian life Robert conceived the idea of painting four great works which should represent at one and the same time the four seasons in Italy and the four leading races of its people. In the "Return from the Fete of the Madonna dell'Arco" (Louvre) he depicted the Neapolitans and the spring. This picture, exhibited at the Salon of 1827, achieved undoubted success and was bought for the Luxembourg by Charles X; but the work which appeared in 1831 the "Summer Reapers arriving in the Pontine Marshes" (Louvre), which became the property of Louis Philippe established the artist's reputation.
Florence and her autumn vineyards should now have furnished him with his third subject. He attempted to begin it, but, unable to conquer his passion for Princess Charlotte Napoleon (then mourning the violent death of her husband, Robert's devoted friend), he threw up his work and went to Venice, where he began and carried through the fourth of the series, the "Fishers of the Adriatic." This work was not equal to the "Reapers." Worn by the vicissitudes of painful feeling, and bitterly discouraged, Robert committed suicide before his easel on 20 March 1835, on the tenth anniversary of the melancholy suicide of a brother to whom he had been much attached.
Dutch Northern Renaissance Painter, ca.1500-1560