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 :. | Sunrise, Yosemite Valley | Deer and River | Landscape Study, Yosemite California | The Grand Tetons | Estes Park |
Related Artists:Lionel Percy Smythe,RA,RWS
Painter, etcher and administrator, brother of (1) Samuel Redgrave. He trained initially as a clerk and draughtsman in his father's counting-house before becoming a student at the Royal Academy Schools in 1826; he also studied with John Powell. About 1830 he left his father's firm and supported himself as a drawing-master, working in watercolour before attempting to paint in oil. He exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1825 until failing eyesight afflicted him in 1883. He was elected ARA in 1840 and RA in 1851. Theodoor Rombouts
Flemish , b. 1597, Antwerpen, d. 1637, Antwerpen
was a Flemish Baroque painter specializing in Caravaggesque genre scenes of card players and musicians. He studied under Abraham Janssens in Antwerp and was in Italy between 1616 and 1625, where he was heavily influenced by Caravaggio.