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 Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak | The Mountain Brook | Estes Park | Canadian_Rockies_Asulkan_Glacier | Lake Lucerne, Switzerland |
Related Artists:Albert Weisgerber
German painter and printmaker. He studied decoration at the Kreisbaugewerksschule in Kaiserlautern (1891-3) and began work in a decorator studio in Frankfurt am Main. However, in 1894 he moved to Munich to resume his studies, first at the Kunstgewerbeschule and later under Franz von Stuck at the Akademie der Bildenden Kenste (1897-1901). For some years he concentrated on poster design and book illustration, contributing a total of 500 drawings to Jungend: Illustrierte Wochenschrift for Kunst und Leben from 1899. His early paintings such as the portrait of Ludwig Scharf II (c. 1905; Munich, Staatsgal. Mod. Kst) were executed in dark-toned academic style, but an exhibition of French Impressionism in Berlin in 1905 so impressed him that he went to Paris for nearly a year (until May 1906). Despite his association with the circle of artists around Matisse, he was more influenced by the work of Cezanne. In 1907 he made a second visit to Paris and joined Phalanx in 1909. In the latter year he was visited by Hans Purrmann and Matisse. By 1911 with a third visit to Paris and travels to Rome and Naples, he had established himself as one of the foremost German Impressionists. As well as such lyrical scenes as Munich Hofgarten (1911; Munich, Lenbachhaus), in common with many of his German contemporaries, Weisgerber reconceived classical scenes in an energetic style, for example in Amazon Camp (1910; Stuttgart, Staatsgal.). In 1912 he had a one-man show in the Kunsthaus, Zurich, and a year later participated in the annual Kunstausstellung in Munich. Although using an Impressionist style, he was equally at home in Expressionist circles, and this undoubtedly influenced his election to the presidency of the Neuen Menchner Sezession (1913). In the last four years of his career he was obsessed with sacrificial subject-matter from the Old and New Testaments, which he had originated in the theme of St Sebastian (e.g. St Sebastian Felled by Arrows, 1910; Munich, Staatsgal. Mod. Kst). While not exclusively tragic (e.g. David and Goliath, 1914; Saarbrecken, Saarland-Mus.), these final works strip away historical references to concentrate upon the fate of the isolated individual, as in Absalom (1914; Hamburg, Ksthalle).Henry Burn
British Painter and Engraver
American painter of English origin. Having trained and painted in England and Scotland, he moved to Boston in 1828, painting in a 'little hut' near the wharves of South Boston. Reportedly an eccentric, he became a successful painter of marine views, adopting a range of different scales, including small wooden panels, larger canvases and theatre backdrops. Moonlight Coastal Scene (1836; St Louis, MO, A. Mus.) is typical of his works on panel, and it demonstrates his use of light to silhouette form. There are no extant examples of the panoramic views done as backdrops; his canvases such as Wharves of Boston (1829; Boston, MA, Old State House) and View of Charlestown (1833; Annapolis, MD, US Naval Acad. Mus.) are full of carefully delineated figures, minute and accurate details of the ships and their rigging, and, most importantly, large expanses of sky dominated by strong light. Salmon's portrayal of light-filled water and sky, increasingly luminous in the late 1830s and early 1840s, has caused him to be considered by some as the father of LUMINISM (i). He used a low viewpoint and contrasted a distant shoreline and small-scale figures in the foreground in a manner that prefigured the work of Fitz Hugh Lane and Martin Johnson Heade, both of whom were influenced by Salmon's manipulation of scale, light and subject-matter. It appears that he returned to England before his death.