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 :. | During the mountain | Indians Fishing | Indian Scout | The Rocky Mountains, Lander Peak | Indian Encampment [Indian Camp in the Mountains] |
Related Artists:Giuseppe Pelizza
painted Prato fiorito in 1900 - 1903
Toulouse 1860-Labastide-du-Vert 1943Gilbert Stuart
Gilbert Stuart was born in North Kingston, R.I., on Dec. 3, 1755. At the age of 13 or 14 he studied art with the Scottish painter Cosmo Alexander in Newport. With Alexander he made a tour of the South and a journey to Edinburgh, where Alexander died in 1772. For about a year Stuart remained, poverty-stricken, in Scotland, but finally, working as a sailor, he managed to get back to America. There he executed a few portraits in a hard limner fashion. With the Revolutionary War threatening, his family, who had Tory sympathies, fled to Nova Scotia, and Stuart sailed for London, where he remained from 1775 to 1787. For the first 4 or 5 years, Stuart served as the first assistant of American expatriate painter Benjamin West, who had rescued him from poverty. From the first, Stuart showed an interest only in portraiture and had no desire to go into the branch of history painting West practiced. After his apprenticeship, Stuart became London's leading portrait painter, next to Joshua Reynolds and Thomas Gainsborough, whose style he emulated, as in a rare full-length portrait of William Grant of Congalton as The Skater (ca. 1782). For a while Stuart lived in splendor, but being a bad businessman and a profligate spender, he was in constant debt. He lived in Ireland from 1787 to 1792 and then returned to America to make a fortune,