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 :. | Autumn in the Conway Meadows looking towards Mount Washington | The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak | The Catskills | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Surveyor's Wagon in the Rockies |
Related Artists:Maurice quentin de la tour
French pastellist. He was one of the greatest pastellists of the 18th century, an equal of Jean-Sim?on Chardin and Jean-Baptiste Perronneau. Unlike them, however, he painted no works in oils. Reacting against the stately portraits of preceding generations and against the mythological portraits of many of his contemporaries, La Tour returned to a more realistic and sober style of work. The fundamental quality of his art lies in his ability to suggest the temperament and psychology of his subjects by means of their facial expression, and thereby to translate their fugitive emotions on to paper: 'I penetrate into the depths of my subjects without their knowing it, and capture them whole', as he himself put it. His considerable success led to commissions from the royal family, the court, the rich bourgeoisie and from literary, artistic and theatrical circles. William Smith Jewett
William Smith Jewett Galleries Robert Salmon
American painter of English origin. Having trained and painted in England and Scotland, he moved to Boston in 1828, painting in a 'little hut' near the wharves of South Boston. Reportedly an eccentric, he became a successful painter of marine views, adopting a range of different scales, including small wooden panels, larger canvases and theatre backdrops. Moonlight Coastal Scene (1836; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.) is typical of his works on panel, and it demonstrates his use of light to silhouette form. There are no extant examples of the panoramic views done as backdrops; his canvases such as Wharves of Boston (1829; Boston, MA, Old State House) and View of Charlestown (1833; Annapolis, MD, US Naval Acad. Mus.) are full of carefully delineated figures, minute and accurate details of the ships and their rigging, and, most importantly, large expanses of sky dominated by strong light. Salmon's portrayal of light-filled water and sky, increasingly luminous in the late 1830s and early 1840s, has caused him to be considered by some as the father of LUMINISM (i). He used a low viewpoint and contrasted a distant shoreline and small-scale figures in the foreground in a manner that prefigured the work of Fitz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade, both of whom were influenced by Salmon's manipulation of scale, light and subject-matter. It appears that he returned to England before his death.