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 Oregon Trail | Die Wasserfalle von St Anthony | Italian Lake Scene | Landscape, New Hampshire | Sea and Sky |
Related Artists:Neyts, Gilles
Flemish, 1623-87IBBETSON, Julius Caesar
English Painter, 1759-1817
English painter, printmaker and writer. The son of a clothier, he was apprenticed to John Fletcher, a ship painter in Hull; in 1775 Ibbetson became a scene-painter there. In 1777 he moved to London, where he worked as a scene-painter and picture restorer. He married about three years later. From 1785 he exhibited landscapes, genre scenes and portraits at the Royal Academy. In 1787-8 Ibbetson was personal draughtsman to Col. Charles Cathcart on the first British Mission to Beijing, a voyage that included visits to Madeira, the Cape of Good Hope and Java. His watercolour False Bay, Cape of Good Hope (London, V&A), made on this journey, shows a picturesque roughness of foliage and rustic staffage adapted from his English landscape style. Cathcart's death forced Ibbetson to return to England (he exhibited an oil painting, untraced, of the Burial of Col. Cathcart in Java at the Royal Academy in 1789); thereafter he lived by painting landscape oils and watercolours, the subjects culled from his frequent tours. He painted occasional portraits throughout his career (e.g. Young Man, 1790; Leeds, Temple Newsam House) and contributed to John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery (e.g. Scene from 'The Taming of the Shrew', untraced, see Waterhouse, p. 192). In 1789 he stayed with John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, at Cardiff Castle and visited the Isle of Wight in 1790. In 1792 he toured Wales and the surrounding area with the painter John 'Warwick' Smith and his companion Robert Fulke Greville, resulting in the publication of his book of engravings, A Picturesque Guide (1793). His oil painting of Aberglasyn: The Flash of Lightning (Leeds, C.A.G.) evokes the sublimity of the mountainous Welsh terrain; the drama of the storm over Aberglasyn is conveyed by thick impasto and strong chiaroscuro, a way of handling paint that Ibbetson learnt from copying 17th-century Dutch masters while working for a London dealer named Clarke during the late 1770s and early 1780s. Li Ti