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 :. | Harbor_Scene | Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains | Lake Tahoe, Spearing Fish by Torchlight | Capri | The last Mossback |
Related Artists:Marques, Francisco Domingo
Spanish, 1842-1920Francis Danby
Irish Painter, 1793-1861
was a British painter of the Romantic eraBorn in the south of Ireland, he was one of a set of twins; his father, James Danby, farmed a small property he owned near Wexford, but his death, in 1807, caused the family to move to Dublin, while Francis was still a schoolboy. He began to practice drawing at the Royal Dublin Society's schools; and under an erratic young artist named James Arthur O'Connor he began painting landscapes. Danby also made acquaintance with George Petrie, and all three left for London together in 1824. This expedition, undertaken with very inadequate funds, quickly came to an end, and they had to get home again by walking. At Bristol they made a pause, and Danby, finding he could get trifling sums for water-color drawings, remained there working diligently and sending to the London exhibitions pictures of importance. There his large oil paintings quickly attracted attention. Danby painted "vast illusionist canvases" comparable to those of John Martin of "grand, gloomy and fantastic subjects which chimed exactly with the Byronic taste of the 1820s."The Upas Tree (1820) and The Delivery of the Israelites (1825) brought him his election as an Associate Member of the Royal Academy. He left Bristol for London, and in 1828 exhibited his Opening of the Sixth Seal at the British Institution, receiving from that body a prize of 200 guineas; and this picture was followed by two others on the theme of the Apocalypse. In 1829 Danby's wife deserted him, running off with the painter Paul Falconer Poole Danby left London, declaring that he would never live there again, and that the Academy, instead of aiding him, had, somehow or other, used him badly. For a decade he lived on the Lake of Geneva in Switzerland, becoming a Bohemian with boat-building fancies, painting only now and then. He later moved to Paris for a short period of time. He returned to England in 1840, when his sons, James and Thomas, both artists, were growing up. Danby exhibited his large (15 feet wide) and powerful The Deluge that year; the success of that painting, "the largest and most dramatic of all his Martinesque visions, revitalized his reputation and career. Other pictures by him were The Golden Age (c. 1827, exhibited 1831), Rich and Rare Were the Gems She Wore (1837), and The Evening Gun (1848). Some of Danby's later paintings, like The Woodnymph's Hymn to the Rising Sun (1845), tended toward a calmer, more restrained, more cheerful manner than those in his earlier style; but he returned to his early mode for The Shipwreck (1859). 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.