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 :. | Puget Sound, Pacific Coast | Rocca de Secca | The Emerald Pool | The Shore of the Turquoise Sea | Yosemite Valley, California |
Related Artists:William Bell Scott
Brother of David Scott. He trained at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh and was taught engraving by his father. He saw the family print workshop as 'the lineal descendant of Albert Derer's factory in Nernberg'; he was later to own a fine collection of D?rer's prints and write a book about him (1870). In 1837 he went to London, where he was impressed by 'a new and interesting school of historical and loosely speaking, inventive and illustrative painters'. This encouraged him to leave landscape painting for the time being and become a history painter. Like his brother, he entered a cartoon for the Westminster Hall competition in 1842: the Free North Britons Surprising the Roman Wall between the Tyne and Solway; this too was unsuccessful. In 1843, discouraged by lack of patronage in London, he accepted the Mastership of the Government School of Design at Newcastle upon Tyne, where he stayed for 20 years, visiting London each summer. Jules Cheret
French Printmaker , 1836 - 1932 Paris
was a French painter and lithographer who became a master of poster art. Often called the father of the modern poster. Born in Paris to a poor but creative family of artisans, a lack of finances meant Jules Cheret had a very limited education. At age thirteen, he began a three-year apprenticeship with a lithographer and then his interest in painting led him to take an art course at the Ecole Nationale de Dessin. Like most other fledgling artists, Cheret studied the techniques of various artists, past and present, by visiting Paris museums. He was trained in lithography in London, England, from 1859 and 1866, and there he was strongly influenced by the British approach to poster design and printing. On returning to France, influenced by the scenes of frivolity depicted in the works of Jean-Honore Fragonard and other Rococo artists such as Antoine Watteau, Cheret created vivid poster ads for the cabarets, music halls, and theaters such as the Eldorado, the Olympia, the Folies Berg??res, Theatre de l'Opera, the Alcazar d'Ete and the Moulin Rouge. So much in demand was he, that he expanded his business to providing advertisements for the plays of touring troupes, municipal festivals, and then for beverages and liquors, perfumes, soaps, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products. Eventually he became a major advertising force, adding the railroad companies and a number of manufacturing businesses to his client list. As his work became more popular and his large posters displaying modestly free-spirited females found a larger audience, pundits began calling him the "father of the women's liberation." Females had previously been depicted in art as prostitutes or puritans. The women of Cheret's posters, joyous, elegant and lively - 'Cherettes', as they were popularly called ?? were neither. It was freeing for the women of Paris, and lead to a noticeably more open atmosphere in Paris where women were able to engage in formerly taboo activities, such as wearing low-cut bodices and smoking in public. Hans Smidth
Hans Ludvig Smidth (2 October 1839, Nakskov - 5 May 1917, Frederiksberg) was a Danish painter. He is remembered above all for his paintings of Jutland and its local inhabitants.
Smidth was the son of the city bailiff of Skive, Edvard Philip Smidth, and the brother of Verner Frederik Læssøe Smidth who founded the cement concern F. L. Smidth & Co. After graduating from school, he began to study medicine but gave it up in favour of art. In 1861, he entered the Danish Academy where he studied under Niels Simonsen. In 1866, he began to experience financial difficulties and left the Academy to continue his studies himself, painting scenes of Limfjord and the moors of Jutland. He first exhibited at Charlottenborg in 1867 with two landscape paintings and continued to exhibit there over the years. His works depicted country life in Jutland, most of them with an emphasis on animals and local figures. He had a talent for form and detail but his use of colour was rather dry, dimishing the appeal of his paintings to the general public. In 1870-71, he studied under Vilhelm Kyhn. As the years went by, Smidth's style developed considerably, earning him the Neuhausen Prize in 1877 for En fremmed spørger om Vej i Bondegaarden paa Heden which was not only technically impressive but showed a fineness of tone. His increasing acceptance as a master of painting in Jutland paved the way for his reputation at the national level.
In fact Smidth had to wait until the year 1900 before he experienced full recognition. That year the Danish Art Society arranged a special exhibition of the artist's work although he was now 60. Unexpectedly 290 of the 300 works sketches and drawings exhibited were sold. In retrospect, his paintings are free of historical or mythical figures, they do not interpret scenes along the lines of the Skagen Painters. They simply depict the views of the people and the countryside as he saw them. His paintings show he had the same respect for the land as the peasants themselves.