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 :. | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Die Rocke Mountains | Butterfly | Mount Washington | Wooded Hillside |
Related Artists:Thomas Mann Baynes
(1794 ?C 1876) was a London born English artist known for his drawings and watercolours of landscapes, buildings and outdoor events. Many of his subjects were engraved and published, generally in London, and these include a notable panorama of the River Thames, which was drawn from nature and engraved on stone. He was the son of James Baynes, a noted watercolour artist.
Baynes also produced views of Liverpool and Ireland, and appears to have made a successful living as a printer prior to his death in 1854. His son Fredrick Thomas Baynes (1824-1874) was also a noted watercolour artist.
Gabriel von Max
(August 23, 1840 - November 24, 1915) was a Prague-born Austrian painter.
He was born Gabriel Cornelius Max, the son of Czech sculptor Joseph Max and Anna Schumann. He studied between 1855 and 1858 at the Prague Academy of Arts with Eduard von Engerth. His studies included parapsychology (somnambulism, hypnotism, spiritism), Darwinism, Asiatic philosophy, the ideas of Schopenhauer, and various mystical traditions. The spiritual-mystical movement was emphasized by the writings of Carl du Prel, and the Munich painter Albert Keller was also an influence.
His first large canvas was painted in 1858 while he was a student at the Prague Academy. He continued his studies at the Viennese Academy of Art with Karl von Blaas, Karl Mayer, Christian Ruben and Carl Wurzinger. From 1863 to 1867 he studied at the Munich Academy with Karl Theodor von Piloty, and also Hans Makart and Franz Defregger. His first critical success was in 1867 with the painting "Martyr at the Cross": that painting transformed the "Ungl?-ksmalerei" (dark palette) of Piloty into a religious-mystical symbolism using a psychological rendering of its subject.
He continued to use the dark palette of the Piloty school well into the 1870s, later moving toward a more muted palette, using fewer,clearer colors. From 1869, Gabriel von Max had his studio in Munich; in the summer, he was in the Ammerland at Starnberger Lake. From 1879-1883, Gabriel Max was a professor of Historical Painting at the Munich Academy; he also became a Fellow of The Theosophical Society. In 1900 he was ennobled and became a Ritter. He died in Munich in 1915.
His interest in anthropological studies also showed in his work. He owned a large scientific collection of prehistoric ethnological and anthropological finds: the collection now resides in the Stadtischen Reiss Museum in Mannheim. At his residence in Starnberger Lake, Gabriel Max surrounded himself with a family of monkeys, which he painted often, sometimes portraying them as human. Max, along with his colleagues, often used photographs to guide painting. The great number of monkey photographs in his archive testify to their use as direct translation into his paintings. In 1908, his painting "The Lion's Bride" became celebrated, and was depicted in motion pictures as an hommage in the Gloria Swanson film, Male and Female, (1919), directed by Cecil B. de Mille.
Gabriel von Max was a significant artist to emerge from the Piloty School, because he abandoned the themes of the Grunderzeitliche (genre and history), in order to develop an allegorical-mystical pictorial language, which became typical of Secessionist Art. Characteristic of the ethereal style of Gabriel Max is "The Last Token" (in the Metropolitan Museum), and "Light" (in the Odessa Museum of Western and Eastern Art, Ukraine).