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 Mountain Brook | A View in the Bahamas | Estes Park | Campfire Site, Yosemite | The Sunset at Monterey Bay, the California Coast |
Related Artists:Mary Beale
English Baroque Era Painter, 1633-1699
was an English portrait painter. She became one of the most important portrait painters of 17th century England, and has been described as the first professional female English painter. Beale was born in Barrow, Suffolk, the daughter of John Cradock, a Puritan rector. Her mother, Dorothy, died when she was 10. She married Charles Beale, a cloth merchant from London, in 1652, at the age of 18. Her father and her husband were both amateur painters, her father being a member of the Painter-Stainers' Company, and she was acquainted with local local artists, such as Nathaniel Thach, Matthew Snelling, Robert Walker and Peter Lely. She became a semi-professional portrait painter in the 1650s and 1660s, working from her home, first in Covent Garden and later in Fleet Street. The family moved to a farmhouse in Allbrook, Hampshire in 1665 due to financial difficulties, her husband having lost his position as a clerk of patents, and also due to the Great Plague in London. For the next five years, a 17th-century two storey timber-framed building was her family home and studio. She returned to London in 1670, where she established a studio in Pall Mall, with her husband working as her assistant, mixing her paints and keeping her accounts. She became successful, and her circle of friends included Thomas Flatman, poet Samuel Woodford, Archbishop of Canterbury John Tillotson, and Bishops Edward Stillingfleet and Gilbert Burnet. She became reacquainted with Peter Lely, now Court Artist to Charles II. Her later work is heavily influenced by Lely, being mainly small portraits or copies of Lely's work. Her work became unfashionable after his death in 1680. Peder Als
Peder Als, a Danish historical and portrait painter, born at Copenhagen in 1725, studied for some time under C. G. Pile. After gaining the first great prize given by the academy at Copenhagen in 1755, he went to Rome and entered the school of Mengs. He occupied himself chiefly in copying the pictures of Raphael and Andrea del Sarto, which it is said that he did with great accuracy. He also copied Correggio and Titian. On his return to his own country he painted some good portraits; but his colouring was too sombre to give a pleasing effect to his pictures of females, and his work was frequently so laboured as to be deprived of all animation. Copies of the works of the old masters by Als are to be seen in Denmark. He died in 1775.Weeks Lord-Edwin
American artist, was born at Boston, Massachusetts, in 1849. He was a pupil of Leon Bonnat and of Jean-Leon Gerome, at Paris. He made many voyages to the East, and was distinguished as a painter of oriental scenes. In 1895 he wrote and illustrated a book of travels, From the Black Sea through Persia and India, and two years later he published Episodes of Mountaineering. He died in November 1903. He was a member of the Legion d'honneur, France, an officer of the Order of St. Michael, Germany, and a member of the Secession, Munich.