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 :. | Mariposa Indian Encampment, Yosemite Valley, California | Western_Trail_the_Rockies | Storm in the Mountains | Ruins-Campagna of Rome | Valley of the Yosemite |
Related Artists:Alden J Weir
Painter, printmaker and teacher, son of (1) Robert Walter Weir. His art education began in the studio of his father. There he and his half-brother (2) John Ferguson Weir acquired an appreciation for the Old Masters, particularly of the Italian Renaissance and of the 17th-century Dutch schools. While Weir pursued in his art a course very different from that of his father and half-brother, his personality as well as his artistic attitudes were shaped by them. In the winters of 1870-71 and 1871-2, he continued his studies at the National Academy of Design in New York, where his instructor was Lemuel Wilmarth (1835-1918).
(October 4, 1816 -April 19, 1906), American artist, was born in New York City, New York, the son of Benjamin Huntington, Jr. and Faith Trumbull Huntington; his paternal grandfather was Benjamin Huntington, delegate at the Second Continental Congress and First U.S. Representative from Connecticut.
In 1835 he studied with Samuel F.B. Morse, and produced "A Bar-Room Politician" and "A Toper Asleep." Subsequently he painted some landscapes on the Hudson river, and in 1839 went to Rome. On his return to America he painted portraits and began the illustration of The Pilgrim's Progress, but his eyesight failed, and in 1844 he went back to Rome.
Returning to New York around 1846, he devoted his time chiefly to portrait-painting, although he painted many genre, religious and historical subjects. From 1851 to 1859 he was in England. He was president of the National Academy from 1862 to 1870, and again in 1877-1890.