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 :. | The_Morteratsch_Glacier_Upper_Engadine_Valley_Pontresina | The Grand Tetons | Oregon Trail | Yosemite Valley, California | Albert Bierstadt Conway Meadows New Hampshire |
Related Artists:Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
was an Italian Baroque artist, painter, printmaker and draftsman, of the Genoese school. He is best known now for his elaborate engravings, and as the inventor of the printmaking technique of monotyping. He was known as Il Grechetto in Italy and in France as Le Benedette.
Francois Joseph Heim
(16 December 1787 - 29 September 1865) was a French painter.
He was born at Belfort. He early distinguished himself at the École Centrale of Strassburg, and in 1803 entered the studio of Vincent at Paris. In 1807 he obtained the first prize, and in 1812 his picture of "The Return of Jacob" (Musee de Bordeaux) won for him a gold medal of the first class, which he again obtained in 1817, when he exhibited, together with other works, a St John--bought by Vivant Denon.
In 1819 the "Resurrection of Lazarus" (Cathedral Autun), the "Martyrdom of St Cyr" (St Gervais), and two scenes from the life of Vespasian (ordered by the king) attracted attention. In 1823 the "Re-erection of the Royal Tombs at St Denis," the "Martyrdom of St Laurence" (Nôtre Dame) and several full-length portraits increased the painter's popularity; and in 1824, when he exhibited his great canvas, the "Massacre of the Jews" (Louvre), Heim was rewarded with the Legion of Honour.
In 1827 appeared the "King giving away Prizes at the Salon of 1824" (Louvre--engraved by Jazet) the picture by which Heim is best known and "Saint Hyacinthe." Heim was now commissioned to decorate the Gallery Charles X (Louvre). Though ridiculed by the romantists, Heim succeeded Regnault at the Institute in 1834, shortly after which he commenced a series of drawings of the celebrities of his day, which are of much interest.
His decorations of the Conference room of the Chamber of Deputies were completed in 1844; and in 1847 his works at the Salon "Champ de Mai" and "Reading a Play at the Theâtre Français" were the signal for violent criticisms. Yet something like a turn of opinion in his favour took place at the exhibition of 1851; his powers as draughtsman and the occasional merits of his composition were recognized, and toleration extended even to his colour.
Heim was awarded the great gold medal, and in 1855--having sent to the Salon no less than sixteen portraits, amongst which may be cited those of Cuvier, Geoffroy de St Hilaire, and Madame Hersent he was made officer of the legion of honour. In 1859 he again exhibited a curious collection of portraits, sixty-four members of the Institute arranged in groups of four.
Besides the paintings already mentioned, there is to be seen in Nôtre Dame de Lorette (Paris) a work executed on the spot; and the museum of Strassburg contains an excellent example of his easel pictures, the subject of which is a Shepherd Drinking from a Spring.
cjrFrancisco de Zurbaran
Spanish Francisco de Zurbaran Galleries
Spanish baroque painter, active mainly at Llerena, Madrid, and Seville. He worked mostly for ecclesiastical patrons. His early paintings, including Crucifixion (1627; Art Inst., Chicago), St. Michael (Metropolitan Mus.), and St. Francis (City Art Museum, St. Louis), often suggest the austere simplicity of wooden sculpture. The figures, placed close to the picture surface, are strongly modeled in dramatic light against dark backgrounds, indicating the influence of Caravaggio. They were clearly painted as altarpieces or devotional objects. In the 1630s the realistic style seen in his famous Apotheosis of St. Thomas Aquinas (1631; Seville) yields to a more mystical expression in works such as the Adoration of the Shepherds (1638; Grenoble); in this decade he was influenced by Ribera figural types and rapid brushwork. While in Seville, Zurbur??n was clearly influenced by Velazquez. After c.1640 the simple power of Zurbaran work lessened as Murillo influence on his painting increased (e.g., Virgin and Child with St. John, Fine Arts Gall., San Diego, Calif.). There are works by Zurbar??n in the Hispanic Society of America, New York City; the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art..