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 :. | A Rustic Mill (Farm | Figures_in_a_Hudson_River_Landscape | Wharf Scene with Ship at Dock | The Sierras near Lake Tahoe, California | Lake Tahoe, Spearing Fish by Torchlight |
Related Artists:Elizabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun
French Neoclassical Painter, 1755-1842Xanthus Russell Smith
Marine, landscape, portrait, and historical painter.
American , 1839-1929
was an American artist best known for his illustrations of the American Civil War. Born in Philadelphia, Smith served in the United States Navy during the war and depicted naval battles with a variety of media, including pencil and oil paint. His best known work (right) recreates the 1864 battle between the CSS Alabama and USS Kearsarge off Cherbourg, France. Smith did not actually participate in most of the battles he illustrated; instead, he generally consulted those who were present at the engagements.Sir David Wilkie
British Sir David Wilkie Galleries
Wilkie may have inherited his rectitude and tenacity, even his nervous inhibitions, from his father, the minister of his native parish. Though little responsive to schooling, he showed an early inclination towards mimicry that expressed itself in drawings, chiefly of human activity. In these he was influenced by a copy of Allan Ramsay pastoral comedy in verse, the Gentle Shepherd (1725), illustrated by David Allan in 1788. One of the few surviving examples of his early drawings represents a scene from it (c. 1797; Kirkcaldy, Fife, Mus. A.G.). Wilkie cherished the demotic spirit of this book and its illustrations throughout his life.