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 :. | Alaskan Coastal Range | Yosemite Valley, California | California Redwoods | Among the Sierra Nevada,California | Wooded Landscape |
Related Artists:Johann Jakob Biedermann
b Winterthur, 7 Oct 1763; d Aussersihl, Schwyz, 10 April 1830Andreas Achenbach
(September 29, 1815 - April 1, 1910) was a German landscape painter.
Born at Kassel, he began his art education in 1827 in Desseldorf under Friedrich Wilhelm Schadow at the Desseldorf Academy of Painting. He studied at St Petersburg and travelled in Italy, Holland and Scandinavia.In his early work he followed the pseudo-idealism of the German romantic school, but on removing to Munich in 1835, the stronger influence of Louis Gurlitt turned his talent into new channels, and he became the founder of the German realistic school. Although his landscapes evince too much of his aim at picture-making and lack personal temperament, he is a master of technique, and is historically important as a reformer. The Chambers Biographical Dictionary says of him that "he was regarded as the father of 19th century German landscape painting."
A number of his finest works are to be found at the Berlin National Gallery, the New Pinakothek in Munich, and the galleries at Dresden, Darmstadt, Cologne, Desseldorf, Leipzig and Hamburg.
He died in Desseldorf.
His brother, Oswald Achenbach (1827-1905), was also a painter.
Frances Hudson Storrs
Frances Hudson Storrs Gallery