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 :. | View of the Grindelwald | The_Morteratsch_Glacier_Upper_Engadine_Valley_Pontresina | The_Ambush | Indians in Council, California | Evening on the Prairie |
Related Artists:Clare George
Jan van Noordt
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1620-1676Emanuel Leutze
historical painter, born in Gmund, Wurtemberg, 24 May, 1816; died in Washington, DC 18 July, 1868.American painter of German birth. When he was nine, Leutze's family emigrated to America and settled in Philadelphia. In 1834 he began to study art with the draughtsman John Rubens Smith (1775-1849). Leutze developed his skills as a portrait painter by taking likenesses to be engraved for publication in the National Portrait Gallery of Distinguished Americans and then working as an itinerant painter. He also experimented with imaginative compositions, such as the Poet's Dream (Philadelphia, PA Acad. F.A.). Philadelphia patrons sponsored his study in Europe, and in 1841 he enrolled at the Kenigliche Kunstakademie in Desseldorf. Although attempts at history painting won approval in Germany and in the USA, Leutze left the academy in 1843. He travelled for two years in Germany and Italy, during which time he became convinced of the importance of freedom and democracy,