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 :. | Mount Hood, Oregon | Elk Grazing in the Wind River Country | Autumn in America, Oneida County, New York | Olevano | Bears in the Wilderness |
Related Artists:Andrea Soldi
Italian painter. George Vertue, the only source for Soldi's earliest years, described him in 1738 as a Florentine aged 'about thirty-five or rather more' who had been in England 'about two years'. He had previously been in the Middle East, where he painted some British merchants of the Levant Company who had advised him to go to London. Two three-quarter-length portraits called Thomas Sheppard (1733 and 1735-6; ex-art market, London, 1917 and 1924, see Ingamells, 1974) belong to this period. In London Soldi enjoyed considerable success in the period between 1738 and 1744; Vertue reported that he began 'above thirty portraits' between April and August 1738. He was extensively patronized by the 2nd and 3rd Dukes of Manchester (eight portraits, sold Kimbolton Castle, Cambs, 18 July 1949), the 3rd Duke of Beaufort (four portraits at Badminton House, Glos) and the 4th Viscount Fauconberg (eight portraits at Newburgh Priory, N. Yorks). The seated three-quarter-length of Isabella, Duchess of Manchester, as Diana (1738; London, Colnaghi's, 1986) and the informal full-length of Lord Fauconberg (c. 1739; Newburgh Priory, N. Yorks) exemplify his lively handling, strong colour and theatrical, Italianate imagination. In a less extravagant vein, the Duncombe Family (1741; priv. col., see Ingamells, 1974), a conversation piece of some charm, and the Self-portrait (1743; York, C.A.G.) suggest a versatile talent. Soldi's bravura contrasted with contemporary English portrait practice, then wavering between the sober manner of Kneller and a playful Rococo, and his attraction for Italianate Englishmen was obvious. He was rivalled only by Jean-Baptiste van Loo, who was in London between 1737 and 1742; both artists painted the dealer Owen McSwiny and the poet Colley Cibber about 1738. He far outclassed his Italian rivals, the Cavaliere Rusca (1696-1769), who worked in London from 1738 to 1739, and Andrea Casali, who was in London from 1741 to 1766.SERRA, Pedro
active 1363-1399GILLOT, Claude
French Painter, 1673-1722
French draughtsman, printmaker and painter. He was the son of an embroiderer and painter of ornaments, who doubtless trained him before he entered the Paris studio of Jean-Baptiste Corneille about 1690; there he learnt to paint and etch. In 1710 he was approved by the Academie Royale; he was received as a history painter five years later, on presentation of the Nailing of Christ to the Cross . Although he painted other elevated subjects, including a Death of the Virgin (1715; untraced) for his native Langres, he was most active as a draughtsman and printmaker specializing in theatre and genre scenes, as well as bacchanals and designs for decorations. Gillot's principal source of inspiration was the popular theatre; he is said to have run a puppet theatre, to have written plays and once to have been in charge of sets, machinery and costume for the opera. This interest was to have a profound effect on the art of his principal pupil, Antoine Watteau