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 :. | Canoes | Scene in the Sierra Nevada | The Emerald Pool | Oregon Trail (Campfire) | Looking up Yosemite Valley |
Related Artists:HALL, Peter Adolf
Swedish painter and collector. In 1753 he attended Uppsala Universitet to study medicine and natural history. In 1755 he went on a study trip abroad, led by his drawing-master Lars Brisman. While in Germany (1756-9) he studied miniature painting with Eichhardt in Berlin and with Karl Friedrich Wilhelm Richard (1725-70) in Hamburg. After this trip, he decided to become a professional portrait painter, and in 1759 he enrolled at the Kungliga Akademi for de Fria Konsterna in Stockholm, studying drawing with the French sculptor Pierre-Hubert Larchaveque (1721-78) and painting with Gustaf Lundberg. He attracted the attention of C. F. Adelcrantz, who in 1766 gained for him a commission for the pastel portrait of Princes Karl and Fredrik Adolf. In that year he also executed a miniature portrait of Crown Prince Gustav on the occasion of his engagement to Princess Sophia Magdalena of Denmark. Also in 1766 he received a royal travel grant to study in Paris, where he developed a completely new technique of miniature painting using sweeping brushwork and a clear and fresh range of colour that allowed for lively characterization. He made exquisite detailed studies of the backgrounds of his paintings, as well as his sitters costumes and their attributes and accessories. His new technique involved applying gouache to the ivory in a manner that allowed the ivory to show through, a method that was particularly successful in depicting drapery. The smooth surface of the ivory also allowed freer brushwork associated with full-scale portraits.Benson, Frank
American painter, etcher and teacher. He attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, from 1880 to 1883 as a student of Otto Grundmann (1844-90) and Frederick Crowninshield (1845-1918). In 1883 he travelled with his fellow student and lifelong friend Edmund C. Tarbell to Paris, where they both studied at the Acad?mie Julian for three years with Gustave Boulanger and Jules Lefebvre. Benson travelled with Tarbell to Italy in 1884 and to Italy, Belgium, Germany and Brittany the following year. When he returned home, Benson became an instructor at the Portland (ME) School of Art, and after his marriage to Ellen Perry Peirson in 1888 he settled in Salem, MA. Benson taught with Tarbell at the Museum School in Boston from 1889 until their resignation over policy differences in 1913. Hermon Atkins Macneil
American Sculptor, 1866-1947,American sculptor, b. Chelsea, Mass., studied in Paris and in Rome. His first work of importance was for the World's Columbian Exposition, Chicago, 1893, but he is perhaps best known for his Native Americans and Western pioneers. Among his monuments are The Coming of the White Man (Portland, Oreg.); the McKinley Memorial (Columbus, Ohio); the Soldiers and Sailors Monument (Albany, N.Y.); and the Marquette Memorial (Chicago). Among smaller sculptures is The Sun Vow (Metropolitan Mus.).