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 | The Wolf River | The Great Trees, Mariposa Grove, California | The Rocky Mountains, Landers Peak | Bears in the Wilderness |
Related Artists:William Buelow Gould
Botanical artist and Natural history artist
Australian, 1801-1853Edgar Degas
French Realist/Impressionist Painter and Sculptor, 1834-1917
French painter, draughtsman, printmaker, sculptor, pastellist, photographer and collector. He was a founder-member of the Impressionist group and the leader within it of the Realist tendency. He organized several of the group exhibitions, but after 1886 he showed his works very rarely and largely withdrew from the Parisian art world. As he was sufficiently wealthy, he was not constricted by the need to sell his work, and even his late pieces retain a vigour and a power to shock that is lacking in the contemporary productions of his Impressionist colleagues.Spencer Stanhope
Stanhope was the son of John Spencer Stanhope of Horsforth and Cannon Hall, MP, a classical antiquarian who in his youth explored Greece. The artist??s mother was Elizabeth Wilhemina Coke, third and youngest daughter of Thomas William Coke of Norfolk, first Earl of Leicester; she and her sisters had studied art with Thomas Gainsborough. Stanhope had one older brother, Walter, who inherited Cannon Hall, and four sisters, Anna Maria Wilhelmina, Eliza Anne, Anne Alicia, and Louisa Elizabeth. Anna married Percival Pickering and became the mother of Evelyn.
Not inheriting the family estates left Stanhope free to make a commitment to art. While a student at Oxford, he sought out Watts as a teacher and was Watts?? assistant for some of his architectural paintings. Spencer-Stanhope traveled with Watts to Italy in 1853 and to Asia Minor in 1856?C57. Upon his return, he was invited by Dante Gabriel Rossetti to participate in the Oxford murals project, painting Sir Gawaine and the Damsels.
On January 10, 1859, he married Elizabeth King, the daughter of John James King, granddaughter of the third Earl of Egremont, and the widow of George Frederick Dawson. They settled in Hillhouse, Cawthorne, and had one daughter, Mary, in 1860. That same year, Spencer-Stanhope??s house Sandroyd (now called Benfleet Hall), near Cobham in Surrey, was commissioned from the architect Philip Webb. Finished by 1861, Sandroyd was only Webb??s second house, the first having been built for William Morris. The house was designed to accommodate Stanhope??s work as a painter, with two second-floor studios connected by double doors, a waiting room, and a dressing room for models. The fireplace featured figurative tiles designed by Burne-Jones based on Chaucer??s dream-vision poem The Legend of Good Women. For a person of Stanhope??s social standing, the house was considered ??a modest artist??s dwelling.?? Burne-Jones was a frequent visitor to Sandroyd in the 1860s, and the landscape furnished the background for his painting The Merciful Knight (1964), the design of which Stanhope??s I Have Trod the Winepress Alone is said to resemble.
The move was intended to offer an improved environment for Stanhope??s chronic asthma. When his condition was not alleviated, he turned to wintering in Florence. In the summers, he at first stayed at Burne-Jones??s house in London and later at the Elms, the western half of Little Campden House on Campden Hill, the eastern half of which was occupied by Augustus Egg.
In 1867, at the age of seven, Mary died of scarlet fever and was buried in at the English Cemetery in Florence. Her father designed her headstone.
Though his family accepted his occupation as a painter and took a great interest in art, Evelyn??s parents disparaged the achievements of ??poor Roddy?? and regarded the painters with whom he associated as ??unconventional.?? Considered among the avant-garde of the 1870s, Stanhope became a regular exhibitor at the Grosvenor Gallery, the alternative to the Royal Academy.
Stanhope moved permanently to Florence in 1880. There he painted the reredos of the English Church, and other work in the Chapel of Marlborough College. In 1873, he bought the Villa Nuti in Florence, where he was visited frequently by de Morgan and where he lived until his death.
De Morgan??s sister, A.M.W. Stirling, wrote a collection of biographical essays called A Painter of Dreams, including reminiscences of her uncle, ??the Idealist, the seer of exquisite visions.?? During the 19th and early 20th century, the extended Spencer-Stanhope family included several artists, whose ties were the theme of a 2007 exhibition, Painters of Dreams, part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the opening of Cannon Hall to the public as a museum. Featured were paintings by Stanhope and de Morgan, along with ceramics by her husband, William de Morgan; bronzes by Gertrude Spencer-Stanhope; and the ballroom at Cannon Hall and ??Fairyland?? in the pleasure grounds, which were designed by Sir Walter and his daughter Cecily.