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 conflagration | Italian Lake Scene | Die Wasserfalle von St Anthony | Sunset Over a Mountain Lake | Mount Adams, Washington |
Related Artists:Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot
(July 17, 1796 - February 22, 1875) was a French landscape painter and printmaker in etching. Corot was the leading painter of the Barbizon school of France in the mid-nineteenth century. He is a pivotal figure in landscape painting and his vast output simultaneously references the Neo-Classical tradition and anticipates the plein-air innovations of Impressionism.Eduard Hildebrandt
(1818 - October 25, 1868) was a German painter.
He served as apprentice to his father, a house-painter at Danzig. He was not twenty when he came to Berlin, where he was taken in hand by Wilhelm Krause, a painter of sea pieces. Several early pieces exhibited after his deathea breakwater, dated 1838, ships in a breeze off Swinemunde (1840), and other canvases of this and the following yeareshow Hildebrandt to have been a careful student of nature, with inborn talents kept down by the conventionalisms of the formal school to which Krause belonged.
Accident made him acquainted with masterpieces of French art displayed at the Berlin Academy, and these awakened his curiosity and envy. He went to Paris, where, about 1842, he entered the atelier of Isabey and became the companion of Lepoittevin. In a short time he sent home pictures which might have been taken for copies from these artists. Gradually he mastered the mysteries of touch and the secrets of effect in which the French at this period excelled.
He also acquired the necessary skill in painting figures, and returned to Germany, skilled in the rendering of many kinds of landscape forms. His pictures of French street life, done about 1843, while impressed with the stamp of the Paris school, reveal a spirit eager for novelty, quick at grasping, equally quick at rendering, momentary changes of tone and atmosphere.
After 1843 Hildebrandt, under the influence of Humboldt, extended his travels, and in 1864-1865 he went round the world. Whilst his experience became enlarged his powers of concentration broke down. He lost the taste for detail in seeking for scenic breadth, and a fatal facility of hand diminished the value of his works for all those who look for composition and harmony of hue as necessary concomitants of tone and touch.
In oil he gradually produced less, in water colours more, than at first, and his fame must rest on the sketches which he made in the latter form, many of them represented by chromolithography. Fantasies in red, yellow and opal, sunset, sunrise and moonshine, distances of hundreds of miles like those of the Andes and the Himalaya, narrow streets in the bazaars of Cairo or Suez, panoramas as seen from mast-heads, wide cities like Bombay or Pekin, narrow strips of desert with measure-less expanses of skyall alike display his quality of bravura. Hildebrandt died at Berlin on the 25th of October 1868.
b.c. 1484, Schwäbisch Gm??nd, W??rttemberg [Germany]
d.1545, Imperial Free City of Strasbourg [now Strasbourg, Fr.]
Hans Baldung Gallery