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 :. | Butterfly | California Redwoods | A View in the Bahamas | Departure of an Indian War Party | Pikes Peak, Rocky Mountains |
Related Artists:Birch, Thomas
English-born American Painter, 1779-1851
American painter of English birth. He was one of the most important American landscape and marine painters of the early 19th century. He moved to America in 1794 with his father William Birch (1755-1834), a painter and engraver from whom he received his artistic training. The family settled in Philadelphia, where William, armed with letters of introduction from Benjamin West to leading citizens of that city, became a drawing-master. Early in their American careers both Birches executed cityscapes, several of which were engraved. Thomas contributed a number of compositions to The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800 (1800), a series of views conceived by the elder Birch in obvious imitation of comparable British productions. An English sensibility is also apparent in the many paintings of country estates executed by father and son in the early 19th century These compositions, along with such portrayals of important public edifices in and near Philadelphia as Fairmount WaterworksWalter Granville Smith
Illustrator and Painter
(April 18, 1813 - December 1, 1879) was a German religious painter from Königswinter, North Rhine-Westphalia, at the foot of the Drachenfels.
Ittenbach began his art education as a student of Kaufmann, then left to study under Franz Katz in Cologne. In 1832, Ittenbach became a pupil, at the age of 19, of the Desseldorf Academy, where he also received private lessons from its president, Schadow. He was a member of the Nazarene movement and associated himself mainly with three of his friends and fellow-students: Karl and Andreas Meller, and Ernst Deger. The four men travelled about in Germany, studying and painting together. From 1839 to 1842, Ittenbach lived in Italy. On his return, he stayed in Munich for some time. In 1849, he returned to Desseldorf. From 1859 until his death, he was a member of the artist club "Malkasten".
Ittenbach was exceedingly religious and persistently declined any commissions for mythological or pagan subjects. As a rule, he devoted his energies exclusively to church decoration. He would precede the execution of his greatest works with devout religious exercises, including confession and communion.
His finest paintings are said to be found at Bonn, in the church of St. Remigius, and in Breslau in a church dedicated to the same saint. There is also a remarkable "Holy Family" dated 1861, painted for Prince Liechtenstein in his private chapel near Vienna. Most of his other works can be found in various Catholic churches in Germany. His only important fresco was painted in 1844 in a church at Remagen.
Ittenbach was a popular painter in court circles, a member of most of the European academies, and the recipient of many medals and decorations. He painted a few portraits, but they were unimportant; his main work was his altar-pieces.