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 Wetterhorn from the Valley of Grindelwald | Mount Adams, Washington | Sea and Sky | Farallon Islands, off San Francisco in the Pacific, Northern California | Die Wasserfalle von St Anthony |
Related Artists:Wjatscheslaw Grigorjewitsch Schwarz
Ernest Duez Location
French painter. He studied under Isidore-Alexandre-Augustin Pils and made his debut at the Salon in 1868. One of his earliest paintings, The Honeymoon (1873), caused a scandal at the Salon owing to its depiction of two lovers in modern dress walking through a sunlit forest. His triptych St Cuthbert (1879; Paris, Pompidou) was hailed as a masterpiece of modern art and bought by the State for the Musee du Luxembourg in Paris. The painting depicts the stages of St Cuthbert life, from child to hermit. Contemporary viewers were struck by the artist use of a real landscape setting, based on Villerville in Normandy where Duez spent much of his time. In addition to genre, religious and history paintings, in 1876 he began to produce portraits: Alphonse de Neuville (1880; Versailles, Cheteau) is a typical example. His brooding, suggestive portrait of Mme Duez (1877; see Montrosier, 1896, p. 429) shows the influence of Symbolism. However, he soon returned to painting works that were essentially landscapes, such as the decorative panel Virgil Seeking Inspiration in the Woods (1888) for the Sorbonne and a pair of allegorical figures, Botany and Physics (1892), for the Hetel de Ville in Paris. He also devoted time to applied art, producing a variety of textile designs. His work was praised for its adept use of colour and for bringing what were seen as modern techniques to traditional subjects.