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 :. | Estes Park, Colorado | Canoes | Sierra Nevada Morning | Bay of Monterey, California | The Yosemite Fall |
Related Artists:Hippolyte Petitjean
Hippolyte Petitjean (1854 - 1929)
Italian painter, Venetian school (b. 1733, Venezia, d. 1813, Venezia).
Painter, engraver and writer, son of (1) Pietro Longhi. He must have received his first artistic training from his father, although the only evidence of this is the similarity of their styles. He was apprenticed to Giuseppe Nogari, one of the better Venetian portrait painters of the first half of the eighteenth century, and his earliest works are bust-length, mostly life-size portraits in Nogari's style. He first exhibited in 1757 and by 1758 must have been considered a reasonably established artist, Thomas Couture
Thomas Couture Location
French painter and teacher. A student of Antoine-Jean Gros in 1830-38 and Paul Delaroche in 1838-9, he demonstrated precocious ability in drawing and was expected to win the Prix de Rome. He tried at least six times between 1834 and 1839, but achieved only second prize in 1837 (entry untraced). Disgusted with the politics of the academic system, Couture withdrew and took an independent path. He later attacked the stultified curriculum of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and discouraged his own students from entering this institution. He first attained public notoriety at the Paris Salon with Young Venetians after an Orgy (1840; Montrouge, priv. col., see Boime, p. 85), the Prodigal Son (1841; Le Havre, Mus. B.-A.) and the Love of Gold (1844; Toulouse, Mus. Augustins). These early canvases are treated in a moralizing and anecdotal mode; the forms and compositional structures, like the debauched and corrupt protagonists, are sluggish and dull. Yet what made his work seem fresh to the Salon audience was his use of bright colour and surface texture derived from such painters as Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps and Eugene Delacroix, while his literary bent and methodical drawing demonstrated his mastery of academic tradition. The critics Thophile Gautier and Paul Mantz (1821-95) proclaimed him as the leader of a new school that mediated between the old and the new, and looked to him for a revitalization of Salon painting. The air of compromise his works projected made him appear a cultural representative of the juste milieu policies of Louis-Philippe.