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 :. | Sunset, Deer and River | Beach at Nassau | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | Deer and River | The Sierras near Lake Tahoe, California |
Related Artists:Osthaus, Edmund Henry
American, 1858-1928Walter Shirlaw
Scottish-American artist , 1838-1909
was a Scottish-American artist. Shirlaw was born in Paisley, Scotland, and moved to the United States with his parents in 1840. He worked as a bank-note engraver, and his work was first exhibited at the National Academy in 1861. He was elected an academician of the Chicago Academy of Design in 1868. Among his pupils there was Frederick Stuart Church. From 1870 to 1877 he studied in Munich, under George Raab, Richard Wagner, Arthur George von Ramberg, and Wilhelm Lindenschmidt. His first work of importance was the Toning of the Bell (1874), which was followed by Sheep-shearing in the Bavarian Highlands (1876). The latter, which is probably the best of his works, received honorable mention at the Paris exposition in 1878. Other notable works from his easel are Good Morning (1878), in the Buffalo Academy; Indian Girl and Very Old (1880); Gossip (1884); and Jealousy (1886), owned by the Academy of Design, New York. His largest work is the frieze for the dining-room in the house of Darius O. Mills in New York. Shirlaw has also earned an excellent reputation as an illustrator. He was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists, and was its first president. On his return from Europe he took charge of the Art Students League of New York, and for several years taught in the composition class.John Longstaff
Australian war artist, 1862-1941