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 Wetterhorn | San Francisco Bay | Cathedral Rock, Yosemite Valley, California | The Emerald Pool | Campfire Site, Yosemite |
Related Artists:Jean-Franc Millet
French Realist Painter, 1814-1875 Marstrand, Wilhelm
Danish painter and illustrator. He was a student of C. W. Eckersberg at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen (1825-33). His art reflects his constant observation of the world around him, in particular middle-class society, and the narrative element dominated his pictures of crowds in the city streets. Throughout his life he sought inspiration from literature and the theatre. In his early genre painting Moving Day Scene (1831; Niv?, Nivaagaards Malsaml.) it was the popular novelty of vaudeville that interested him. The October Festival (1839; Copenhagen, Thorvaldsens Mus.) reveals how Marstrand's five-year stay (1836-41) in Italy opened his eyes to the classical ideal of beauty. It was, however, an ideal that found little response in contemporary Denmark, and he turned towards a more anecdotal and humorous approach. In Scene of Country Life (1843; Copenhagen, Kon. Dan. Kstakad.), painted as a set subject for the Kunstakademi, Marstrand took as his theme a scene from Erasmus Montanus, a play by the 18th-century Danish poet and playwright Ludvig Holberg. Thereafter Holberg's comedies provided an inexhaustible source that satisfied Marstrand's need to pursue his investigations of human character. Family life similarly interested him throughout his career, as in his Scene of Daily Life (1857; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst). Such group portraits as The Waagepetersen Family (1836; Copenhagen, Stat. Mus. Kst) show an equal concern to depict the quiet details of Danish domestic life. Marstrand continued to travel abroad in search of inspiration. His stay in Venice in 1853-4 was particularly important; his studies there of the great Venetian painters improved his understanding of the handling of colour, as seen clearly in the many historical and religious paintings of his last years. Of particular interest is his mural decoration of Christian IV's chapel in Roskilde Cathedral (1864-6) with scenes from the life of the Danish monarch. Marstrand's paintings have a certain facetiousness which often obscures a much deeper philosophical content. For this reason, it is his drawings that arouse more admiration. SCHRIECK, Otto Marseus van
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, 1619-1678
Dutch painter. According to Houbraken, he travelled to Italy and stayed in Rome and Florence with the painters Matthias Withoos and Willem van Aelst, the latter his pupil at the time. Among his patrons were Ferdinando II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany (reg 1621-70). Van Hoogstraten claimed that he met van Schrieck in Rome as late as 1652. In Rome, van Schrieck was a member of the Schildersbent. About 1657 he returned with van Aelst to Amsterdam, where he had a small property and got married on 25 April 1664. An inventory of the contents of his house was made in July 1678, shortly after his death, in which more than 300 paintings are listed. Besides his own paintings, there were works by Cornelis van Poelenburch, Simon de Vlieger, Ludolf Bakhuizen, Jan Wijnants, Lucas van Leyden