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 :. | A River Landscape, Westphalia | The_Plains_Near_Fort_Laramie | Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt Rosalie | A Rustic Mill | Salmon Fishing on the Cascapediac River |
Related Artists:Thomas Birch
Thomas Birch Gallery
American painter of English birth. He was one of the most important American landscape and marine painters of the early 19th century. He moved to America in 1794 with his father William Birch (1755-1834), a painter and engraver from whom he received his artistic training. The family settled in Philadelphia, where William, armed with letters of introduction from Benjamin West to leading citizens of that city, became a drawing-master. Early in their American careers both Birches executed cityscapes, several of which were engraved. Thomas contributed a number of compositions to The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800 (1800), a series of views conceived by the elder Birch in obvious imitation of comparable British productions. An English sensibility is also apparent in the many paintings of country estates executed by father and son in the early 19th century (e.g. Eaglesfield, 1808; priv. col.). These compositions, along with such portrayals of important public edifices in and near Philadelphia as Fairmount Waterworks (1821; Philadelphia, PA Acad. F.A.), emphasize the cultural progress and commercial prosperity of the young United States as well as its almost Edenic natural beauty. Birch is also known for his representations of winter landscapes.Edouard Debat Ponsan
French Academic Painter, 1847-1913
1847-1913.French painter. He trained in Toulouse and later at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris under Alexandre Cabanel. In 1873 he won second place in the Prix de Rome and in 1874 the Prix Troyon of the Institut. From the Institut he received a bursary that enabled him to visit Italy. In 1870 he made his debut at the Salon under the name Ponsan-Debat and afterwards exhibited there such genre and history paintings as Jephthah's Daughter (1876; Carcassonne, Mus. B.-A.). He also executed religious works, some of which were for churches and cathedrals: he painted St Paul before the Areopagus (1877) for the church at Courbevoie and the Pity of St Louis for the Dead (1879) for the cathedral at La Rochelle. From 1880 Debat-Ponsan was the name under which he exhibited. The Massage (1883; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins) shows a white female nude massaged by a negress, and the subject attracted comment from contemporary critics. He also painted a number of landscapes, including Corner of the Vineyard (1888; Nantes, Mus. B.-A.). These were painted in a style similar to that of Jules Bastien-Lepage and, when they included figures, were often sentimental. His reputation depended, however, on his portraits, which are distinguished by their vigorous colour and precision, as seen in the portrait of Pouyer-Quertier (c. 1885; Rouen, Mus. B.-A.). Most notable was his portrait of General Boulanger (1887; untraced), which was shown at the Salon of 1887 and was accepted in 1889 for the Exposition Universelle in Paris. Amid scandal, Debat-Ponsan withdrew it soon after the opening because he thought that the Exposition was badly organized and his painting was not shown to advantage. He refused the bronze medal awarded it by the jury. In later years, while producing such paintings as Christ on the Mountain (1889; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins), he increasingly responded to contemporary events in his work. Joseph Stella
Joseph Stella Gallery
Joseph Stella (June 13, 1877 - November 5, 1946) was an Italian-born, American Futurist painter best known for his depictions of industrial America. He is associated with the American Precisionism movement of the 1910s-1940s. He was born in Muro Lucano, Italy but came to New York City in 1896. He studied at the Art Students League of New York under William Merritt Chase. His first paintings are Rembrandtesque depictions of city slum life. In 1908, he was commissioned for a series on industrial Pittsburgh later published in The Pittsburgh Survey.
It was his return to Europe in 1909, and his first contact with modernism, that would truly mold his distinctive personal style.
Returning to New York in 1913, he painted Battle of Lights, Mardi Gras, Coney Island, which is one of the earliest American Futurist works. He is famous for New York Interpreted, a five-paneled work patterned after a religious altarpiece, but depicting bridges and skyscrapers instead of saints. This piece reflects the belief, common at the time, that industry was displacing religion as the center of modern life. It is currently owned by the Newark Museum.
A famous Stella quote is: "I have seen the future and it is good. We will wipe away the religions of old and start anew."