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 :. | Lake in the Rockies | Bridal Veil Falls. Yosemite | On the Plains | White Mountains, New Hampshire | A Rustic Mill |
Related Artists:Charles Farrer
English Thomas Ruckle
was a house painter and sign painter in early nineteenth century Baltimore, Maryland, and an amateur painter. He is best known for his paintings The Battle of North Point, and The Defense of Baltimore. Ruckle was a veteran of the War of 1812, in which he had served as a corporal in the 5th Maryland Regiment of the Maryland Militia.
Ruckle was born in Ireland and, having moved to Baltimore, Maryland, he became a sign painter and house painter. It is likely that he had very little, if any, formal training as an artist.Wladyslaw Podkowinski
Polish Painter, 1866-1895
Polish painter and illustrator. In 1880-84 he studied in Warsaw at Wojciech Gerson's Drawing School. From 1884 he regularly contributed illustrations to leading Warsaw journals such as Tygodnik Ilustrowany and Wedrowiec. In 1885, accompanied by his fellow artist J?zef Pankiewicz, he went to St Petersburg and studied (1885-6) at the Academy of Fine Arts. Disappointed with the conservative teaching system and short of money, he returned to Warsaw in 1886 and in 1887 continued working regularly for Tygodnik Ilustrowany, becoming one of its most popular illustrators. He produced his first watercolours and oil paintings, much under the influence of Aleksander Gierymski, but continued to regard these as secondary activities until a stay in Paris in 1889, again in the company of Pankiewicz. Here, the experience of new French painting, especially that of Claude Monet shown at the Galerie Georges Petit, encouraged Podkowinski to attempt paintings in an Impressionist manner.