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 :. | Farallon Islands, off San Francisco in the Pacific, Northern California | Street in Nassau | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Canoes | Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley |
Related Artists:Hendrick van balen
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, ca.1575-1632
was a Flemish painter, who was born and died in Antwerp. Van Balen studied art while traveling in Italy. He was the teacher of Anthony Van Dyck and Frans Snyders and was also a contemporary of many of the other famous Flemish artistsLeonard Defrance
Flemish Painter, 1735-1805Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
Painter and draughtsman, brother of Ludwig Ferdinand Schnorr von Carolsfeld. He was taught engraving by his father and then trained under Heinrich Feger at the Akademie in Vienna (1811-15). Though not particularly excited by the curriculum, he was inspired by his friendship with Ferdinand Olivier and Joseph Anton Koch and the circle around A. W. Schlegel to an interest in both landscape sketching and in old German and Netherlandish art, as reflected in the style of the detailed pen drawing of the Prodigal Son (1816; Dresden, Kupferstichkab.). From 1815 to 1818 he lived in the house of Ferdinand Olivier, whose step-daughter, Marie Heller, he later married. A painting of 1817, St Roch Distributing Alms