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 Arch of Octavius | Grizzly bears | Sierra_Nevada_Mountains | The Great Trees, Mariposa Grove, California | Palm Tree, Nassau by Albert Bierstadt |
Related Artists:George Chinnery
1774-1852,English painter. Although long rumoured to be Irish, Chinnery was brought up in London, where he showed a precocious talent as a portrait painter in the traditions of Romney and Cosway. His grandfather, the calligrapher William Chinnery sr, was the author of Writing and Drawing Made Easy, Amusing and Instructive (London, 1750); his father, William jr, was also a writing master, and exhibited portraits at the Free Society of Artists. George entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1792John Frederichk Lewis RA
Adriaen Van Diest
was born at the Hague in 1655. He was the son of Jeronymus van Diest, a painter of sea-pieces, by whom he was instructed in the art. When he was seventeen years of age he came to London, and was employed by Granville, Earl of Bath, for whom he painted several views and ruins in the west of England. He also painted portraits, but did not meet with much encouragement, although his pictures, particularly his landscapes, possess considerable merit; as a proof of which Horace Walpole states that there were seven pictures by Van Diest in Sir Peter Lely's collection. He etched several landscapes from his own designs, in a slight, masterly style. Van Diest died in London in 1704. Unfortunately for his reputation, he is generally known by his worst pictures, which are frequently found in old houses, on wainscots, or over doors, and are executed in a hasty manner, with much mountainous background. His better pictures have changed their name.