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 :. | Sierra_Nevada_aka_From_the_Head_of_the_Carson_River, California | Yosemite Valley, California | Indian Encampment [Indian Camp in the Mountains] | The Wolf River, Kansas | Sunset in the Rockies |
Related Artists:Nicolas-rene jollain
French Painter, 1732-1804Maria Catharina Wiik
(b Helsinki, 2 Aug 1853; d Helsinki, 19 June 1928). Finnish painter. She studied in Paris at the Academie Julian from 1875 to 1876 under Tony Robert-Fleury and continued her studies with him in the same studio between 1877 and 1880. Her paintings appeared at the Salon for the first time in 1880 (e.g. Marietta, 1880; Helsinki, priv. col., see Katerma, p. 31). The realist techniques Wiik absorbed in Paris came to form the basis of her work, tranquil in composition and restrained in colour. Her favourite subjects were relatively small-scale portraits such as Hilda Wiik (1881; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) and still-lifes (e.g. Still-life, c. 1880; Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.). Like many other foreign painters Wiik went to Brittany to paint. In 1883-4 she worked in Concarneau and Pont-Aven, where her enthusiasm for plein-air painting brought immediacy to her work and greater brightness to her colours (e.g. Breton Farm, 1883; Naantali, Fereningen Hedvigsminne). She preferred to record her impressions in portraits, although she also painted small, light-filled landscapes. In 1889 Wiik worked under the direction of Puvis de Chavannes in Henri Bouvet's studio in Paris, and in the same year she visited St Ives where she painted, among others, two major works: Out in the World (Helsinki, Athenaeum A. Mus.) and the St Ives Girl (Helsinki, priv. col., see Katerma, p. 93). Both works show Wiik moving towards an ever more internalized and minimal mode of expression, thereby taking part in the process that led, in the 1890s, to a general abandonment of realism in favour of a greater emphasis on emotion. Out in the World, which shows an old woman's sad parting from a young girl who is leaving home to begin work, shows a change in technique with the use of more united colour surfaces and of tone painting. (This work was awarded a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900.) During the 1890s and the early 20th century Wiik's travels were concentrated in Scandinavia, although she visited Paris in 1905. Jules Bastien-Lepage
French Realist Painter, 1848-1884
French painter. Bastien-Lepage grew up on a farm. Although his earliest efforts in drawing were encouraged, his parents violently objected when he decided to become a professional artist. To mollify them he worked for a time as a postal clerk in Paris while studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1868 he left the civil service and was accepted into Alexandre Cabanel's atelier. During this apprenticeship, Bastien-Lepage won two prizes in drawing, and in 1870 he made his d?but at the Salon with a Portrait of a Young Man (untraced). In the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) he joined a regiment of sharpshooters and was severely wounded in the chest. When he recovered he attempted unsuccessfully to find work as an illustrator.