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 | View of Wetterhorn from the Valley of Grindelwald | Olevano | Der Letzte Buffel | Yosemite Falls |
Related Artists:Leibl, Wilhelm
German Realist Painter, 1844-1900
German painter, draughtsman and etcher. In 1861 he abandoned his apprenticeship as a locksmith in order to train as a precision instrument maker, though a month or so later he decided to train as an artist, at first under the Cologne history painter and writer Hermann Becker (1817-85). In 1863 he moved to Munich; he studied there from March 1864, at the Akademie der Bildenden K?nste, initially under Philipp von Foltz and Alexander Straehuber, drawing from plaster casts, and later in Hermann Ansch?tz's painting class. Here, Arthur von Ramberg (1819-75) stimulated Leibl's sensitivity to colour; and Karl Theodor von Piloty encouraged him to observe reality and incorporate its lessons boldly into compositions on historical themes. From the start, however, Leibl tended to think of his pictures in terms of form rather than content. While at the Akademie he first reached a standard of excellence with his draughtmanship, which is notable for its directness and objectivity. As an artist, Leibl's early works were not especially promising. However, as occurred throughout his career, a long period of mediocrity was crowned by an unexpected masterpiece, such as his portrait drawing of Aunt Josepha (c. 1864; Cologne, Wallraf-Richartz-Mus.). This is particularly striking for Leibl's use of the hands to add to the expression of the sitter's character and mood, a device he was to use frequently in later work. In Munich, Leibl supplemented the teaching of the Akademie by studying the works of the Old Masters in the Alte Pinakothek: he paid particular attention to painters of the Baroque period such as van Dyck, Cornelis de Vos and Rubens, and also to other great masters of portraiture such as Frans Hals and Vel?zquez. The presentation of the subject found in such works is reflected in Leibl's portrait of Frau Gedon (1869; Munich, Neue Pin.). When the work was shown at the Grossen Internationale Kunstausstellung in Munich in 1869 it was singled out as the best oil painting of the exhibition by Gustave Courbet and, as a result, Leibl was honoured with an invitation to Paris, where he arrived on 13 November 1869. Dorfmeister, Istvan
Hungarian Painter, ca.1729-1797Johannes Frederik Hulk