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 :. | Albert Bierstadt's art | California Sunset | Autumn Landscape: The Catskills | Autumn in America, Oneida County, New York | An Indian Encampment |
Related Artists:David, Jacques-Louis
French Neoclassical Painter, 1748-1825
Jacques-Louis David is famous for his huge, dramatic canvasses of Napoleon and other historical figures, including Oath of the Horatii (1784), Death of Marat (1793) and The Sabine Women (1799). Early in his career he was a leader in the neoclassical movement; later his subjects became more modern and political. David was himself active in the French Revolution as a supporter of Robespierre and is sometimes called the chief propagandist for the Revolution; after the Reign of Terror ended he was briefly imprisoned for his actions. When Napoleon took power David became his court painter and created several grand canvasses of the Emperor, including the heroic Napoleon Bonaparte Crossing the Alps (1801) and the enormous Coronation of Napoleon and Josephine (1807). David also painted Napoleon in His Study (1812), Henry Leonidas Rolfe
British,active 1847-81Calvaert, Denys
Flemish painter and draughtsman, active in Italy. In 1556-7 he was inscribed in the registers of the painters' corporation in Antwerp as a pupil of the landscape painter Kerstiaen van Queboorn (1515-78). Calvaert went to Bologna c. 1560, where he was to remain for the rest of his life. There he came under the protection of the influential Bolognini family and entered the workshop of Prospero Fontana the elder. After about two years he left Fontana to work with Lorenzo Sabatini, with whom he collaborated on several pictures, including the Holy Family with the Archangel St Michael (Bologna, S Giacomo Maggiore) and an Assumption (Bologna, Pin. N.). Calvaert's oeuvre is composed almost exclusively of religious works, ranging in size from vast altarpieces to small devotional pictures on copper. This sets him apart from other Netherlandish painters, notably those of the school of Prague, for whom Classical mythology was a constant source of inspiration. His first signed and dated work was Vigilance (1568; Bologna, Pin. N.); thereafter he developed a more original style, as in the Noli me tangere (Bologna, Pin. N.).