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 :. | The Landing of Columbus | The Island | Merced River in Yosemite | Elk Grazing in the Wind River Country | Oregon Trail |
Related Artists:Jacob van Ruisdael
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1628-1682
Ruysdael's favorite subjects are simple woodland scenes, similar to those of Everdingen and Hobbema. He is especially noted as a painter of trees, and his rendering of foliage, particularly of oak leaf age, is characterized by the greatest spirit and precision. His views of distant cities, such as that of Haarlem in the possession of the marquess of Bute, and that of Katwijk in the Glasgow Corporation Galleries, clearly indicate the influence of Rembrandt.
He frequently painted coast-scenes and sea-pieces, but it is in his rendering of lonely forest glades that we find him at his best. The subjects of certain of his mountain scenes seem to be taken from Norway, and have led to the supposition that he had traveled in that country. We have, however, no record of such a journey, and the works in question are probably merely adaptations from the landscapes of Van Everdingen, whose manner he copied at one period. Only a single architectural subject from his brush is known--an admirable interior of the New Church, Amsterdam. The prevailing hue of his landscapes is a full rich green, which, however, has darkened with time, while a clear grey tone is characteristic of his seapieces. The art of Ruysdael, while it shows little of the scientific knowledge of later landscapists, is sensitive and poetic in sentiment, and direct and skillful in technique. Figures are sparingly introduced into his compositions, and such as occur are believed to be from the pencils of Adriaen van de Velde, Philip Wouwerman, and Jan Lingelbach.
Unlike the other great Dutch landscape painters, Ruysdael did not aim at a pictorial record of particular scenes, but he carefully thought out and arranged his compositions, introducing into them an infinite variety of subtle contrasts in the formation of the clouds, the plants and tree forms, and the play of light. He particularly excelled in the painting of cloudscapes which are spanned dome-like over the landscape, and determine the light and shade of the objects.
Goethe lauded him as a poet among painters, and his work shows some of the sensibilities the Romantics would later celebrate.Karl Pavlovic Brullow
1799-1852GIOVANNI DA MILANO
Italian Gothic Era Painter, active 1350-1369