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 :. | Ferns_and_Rocks_on_an_Embankment | Der Letzte Buffel | Day-s_Beginning | The Sierra Nevada in California | Street in Nassau |
Related Artists:Dirk van der Aa
Dirk van der Aa , 1731 -- February 23, 1809.
He was born in The Hague, and first apprenticed to Johann Heinrich Keller, and then to Gerrit Mes with whom he would later start a workshop; they specialized in grisaille decorative paintings. He counted Evert Morel, Cornelis Kuipers, Johan Christiaan Roedig and Andries van der Aa amongst his students. He died in his home city of The Hague.Parrocel, Joseph
He studied with his father Barthelemy Parrocel (1595-1660) and then with his elder brother Louis Parrocel (1634-94). He went to Paris for four years to perfect his work and then, c. 1667, to Rome, where he became the pupil of the battle painter Jacques Courtois and was influenced by Salvator Rosa. He remained in Italy for eight years and stayed for a time in Venice, before returning to settle in Paris in 1675. He was approved (agree) by the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in February 1676 and received as a full member in November of the same year, presenting the Siege of Maastricht (Draguignan, Mus. Mun.). His painted oeuvre consists principally of military scenes, particularly battles, and he received numerous royal commissions. In the period 1685-8 he executed 11 paintings for the Salle du Grand Couvert at the cheteau of Versailles (nine in situ; one in Tours, Mus. B.-A.; one in Dijon, Mus. B.-A.); in 1699 he painted the Crossing of the Rhine (Paris, Louvre.) for the cheteau of Marly, Yvelines, and in 1700 he executed the Fair at Bezons (Tours, Mus. B.-A.), anticipating the fetes galantes of Antoine Watteau. He was also the author of a number of hunting scenes . His most important religious paintings were the May of Notre-Dame de Paris of 1694, St John the Baptist Preaching (Arras, Mus. B.-A.) and St Augustin Succouring the Sick (c. 1703; Nantes, Mus. B.-A.), which was intended for the monastery in the Place des Victoires in Paris. He also contributed battle scenes to the backgrounds of portraits by Hyacinthe Rigaud and by Gabriel Blanchard. His technique was highly original in the context of his time; he employed a very free style of execution and used thick impasto and intense colours. He was also a prolific engraver, producing around 100 plates, Willem Claesz. Heda
painted Dessert in 1637