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 :. | Canoes | The Arch of Octavius | Boats Ashore at Sunset | An Indian Encampment | The Last of the Buffalo |
Related Artists:Josefa of Ayala
1630-1684,Portuguese painter and engraver. She was the daughter of the Portuguese painter Baltazar Gomes Figueira (1597-1674) and a Spanish lady, Doea Catarina de Ayala y Cabrera. After the restoration of the Portuguese monarchy in 1640 the family moved to Coimbra. Here Josefa began her apprenticeship under her father, a painter of landscapes, still-lifes and religious works, who in 1644 painted the retable of Nossa Senhora da Graea, Coimbra, in the naturalist-tenebrist style he had learnt in Seville in the circles of Juan del Castillo, Johann Hulsmann
(1600 -1660 ) - Painter
American Folk Artist, 1788-1865
American painter. Apparently self-taught, he began his prolific and successful career as a portrait painter c. 1811. During his lifetime, he moved several times across the borders of New York, western Connecticut and Massachusetts in search of commissions. Like many of the itinerant artists of the 19th century, he struggled to achieve pictorial solutions and a distinctive style, yet he developed so dramatically that historians originally classified his paintings as the work of two different artists: 'The Border Limner' and 'The Kent Limner'. The earliest works, from his 'Border' period (c. 1812-19), are marked by simple forms, shaded outlines and soft, pastel colours. They include ambitious full-length portraits as well as three-quarter and bust-length examples (Dr Russell Dorr, c. 1814-15; Williamsburg, VA, Rockefeller Flk A. Col.). In the 1820s he experimented with techniques and formats, developing an attention to detail and naturalism that suggests the influence of Albany portrait painter Ezra Ames. By the 1830s, the decade of his 'Kent' portraits, his compositions present his sitters as large, stylized shapes that nearly fill the canvas, while his use of rich, saturated colours creates striking contrasts of light and dark. Typically in this decade, his female sitters are shown leaning forward while male sitters sit upright with one hand draped over a chairback. Among his most appealing and successful works are portraits of children from this period. Blond Boy with Primer,