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 | Valley of the Yosemite | California Redwoods | Minnehaha Falls | Four Indians |
Related Artists:William James Muller
British Painter, 1812-1845, English landscape and figure painter, was born at Bristol, his father, a Prussian, being curator of the museum. He first studied painting under JB Pyne. His early subjects deal mainly with the scenery of Gloucestershire and Wales, and he learned much from his study of Claude, Ruysdael, and earlier landscape-painters. In 1833 he figured for the first time in the Royal Academy with his "Destruction of Old London Bridge--Morning," and next year he made a tour through France, Switzerland and Italy. Four years later he visited Athens, extending his travels to Egypt, and in the sketches executed during this period and the paintings produced from them his power and individuality are apparent. Shortly after his return he left Bristol and settled in London, where he exhibited regularly. In 1840 he again visited France, where he executed a series of sketches of Renaissance architecture, twenty-five of which were lithographed and published in 1841, in a folio entitled "The Age of Francis I. of France." In 1843 he accompanied, Jan Boeckhorst
Born in Westphalia, in either Menster or Rees, Boeckhorst moved to Antwerp around 1626. He had a close relationship with Rubens's studio, finishing paintings designed by that master as well as assisting with large series such as the joyous entry of Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand in 1635 and the Torre de la Parada. He also collaborated as a figure painter in landscapes and still lifes by Jan Wildens and Frans Snyders, and sometimes painted lively group portraits. He traveled to Italy in the years 1635-1639 and joined the Bentvueghels with the nickname Lange Jan (Tall John).
Cornelis de Bie, in his Gulden Cabinet der Edel Vry Schilderconst (The Golden Cabinet of the Honourable Free Art of Painting; 1662), remarks that Boeckhorst was a student of Jordaens. Works in that master's style include large genre paintings of the 1640s such as Peasants going to Market (Antwerp, Rubenshuis), which also acts as an allegory of the four elements.
In the 1650s and 1660s Boeckhorst painted altarpieces for churches throughout Flanders and designed cartoons for tapestries.