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 Wolf River | Albert Bierstadt's art | Palm Tree, Nassau by Albert Bierstadt | The Kern River Valley, a montane canyon in the Sierra Nevada, California | Tropical Landscape with Fishing Boats in Bay |
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1806-1882Jean Marc Nattier
Jean Marc Nattier Gallery
Brother of Jean-Baptiste Nattier. As well as being taught by his father, he trained with his godfather, Jean Jouvenet, and attended the drawing classes of the Academie Royale, where in 1700 he won the Premier Prix de Dessin. From around 1703 he worked on La Galerie du Palais du Luxembourg. The experience of copying the work of Rubens does not, however, seem to have had a liberating effect on his draughtsmanship, which was described by the 18th-century collector Pierre-Jean Mariette as cold. Nattier was commissioned to make further drawings for engravers in the early part of his career, including those after Hyacinthe Rigaud famous state portrait of Louis XIV (1701; Paris, Louvre) in 1710, which indicates that he had established a reputation while he was still quite young. Although he was offered a place at the Academie de France in Rome on the recommendation of Jouvenet, Nattier preferred to remain in Paris and further his career. In 1717 he nevertheless made a trip to Holland, where he painted portraits of Peter the Great and the Empress Catherine (St Petersburg, Hermitage). The Tsar offered Nattier work at the Russian court, but the artist declined the offer. He remained in Paris for the rest of his life.