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 :. | The Mountain Brook | View of the Parliament Buildings from the Grounds of Rideau Halls | Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley | The last Mossback | Gates of the Yosemite |
Related Artists:Rudolf Ernst
recorded at Parma 1496-1504Arnold Bocklin
Arnold Bocklin Locations
Arnold Bocklin was born on Oct. 16, 1827, in Basel. He attended the Dusseldorf Academy (1845-1847). At this time he painted scenes of the Swiss Alps, using light effects and dramatic views subjectively to project emotional moods into the landscape. In 1848 this romantic introspection gave way to plein air (open-air) objectivity after he was influenced by Camille Corot, Eugene Delacroix, and the painters of the Barbizon school while on a trip to Paris. But after the February and June revolutions Bocklin returned to Basel with a lasting hatred and disgust for contemporary France, and he resumed painting gloomy mountain scenes.
In 1850 Bocklin found his mecca in Rome, and immediately his paintings were flooded by the warm Italian sunlight. He populated the lush southern vegetation, the bright light of the Roman Campagna, and the ancient ruins with lonely shepherds, cavorting nymphs, and lusty centaurs. These mythological figures rather than the landscapes became Bocklins primary concern, and he used such themes as Pan Pursuing Syrinx (1857) to express the polarities of life: warm sunshine contrasts with cool, moist shade, and the brightness of womans spirituality contrasts with mans dark sensuality.
When Bocklin returned to Basel with his Italian wife, he completed the painting which brought him fame when the king of Bavaria purchased it in 1858: Pan among the Reeds, a depiction of the Greek phallic god with whom the artist identified. He taught at the Academy of Art in Weimar from 1860 to 1862, when he returned to Rome. Called to Basel in 1866, he painted the frescoes and modeled the grotesque masks for the facade of the Basel Museum.
Bocklin resided in Florence from 1874 until 1885, and this was his most active period. He continued to explore the male-female antithesis and painted religious scenes, allegories of Natures powers, and moody studies of mans fate. He ceased working with oils and began experimenting with tempera and other media to obtain a pictorial surface free of brushstrokes.
Bocklin spent the next 7 years mostly in Switzerland, with occasional trips to Italy; he devoted much of his energy to designing an airplane. Following a stroke in 1892, he returned to Italy, bought a villa in Fiesole, and died there on Jan. 16, 1901. Many of his late works depict nightmares of war, plague, and death.