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 :. | Mountain Man | Sunset Over a Mountain Lake | Gates of the Yosemite | Albert Bierstadt. painting | The Sunset at Monterey Bay |
Related Artists:Heinrich Eduard Linde-Walther
VERSPRONCK, Jan Cornelisz
b. ca. 1597, Haarlem, d. 1662, HaarlemWitold Pruszkowski
Polish Painter, 1846-1896
Polish painter and draughtsman. He spent his early years in Odessa and Kiev, subsequently living in France, in particular in Paris, where he studied under the Polish portrait painter Tadeusz Gorecki (1825-68), continuing (1868-71) at the Akademie der Kenste in Munich. In 1871 he moved to Krakew where he studied until 1875 under Jan Matejko at the School of Fine Arts. During ten years in Krakew he produced many striking portraits. In the portrait of Mrs Fedorowicz (1878; Krakew, N. Mus.) he achieved subtle effects of modelling by means of carefully differentiated tones and meticulously distributed light. The Realism of these portraits is subsumed into an advanced proto-Impressionist technique, on occasion using both small patches of distinct colour and broadly applied areas of impasto. Alongside such works, Pruszkowski produced paintings based on fantastic legends, fables and folk-tales. In these works one can trace influences going back to the artist's Munich period; but Pruszkowski's essentially Romantic vision translated his subjects into an entirely Polish context, as in Midsummer's Night (1875; Warsaw, N. Mus.) and Water Nymphs (1877; Krakew, N. Mus.). In 1882 Pruszkowski moved to the village of Mnikow outside Krakew, where he worked in the isolation he believed essential for creative activity. Contact with the country people, however, provided him with themes for his work; alongside his fantastic and legendary subjects he painted genre scenes of peasant life. He brought to his subjects a diversity of means of formal depiction, from the realistic to the near visionary. However, there are notable recurrent motifs, for example the image of the native willow, the symbolic haunt of spirits, as in Willow on Marshland (1892; Ledz, Mus. A.). The visionary element achieved its apogee in the pastel compositions from the last years of his life. In works such as Death of Ellenai (1892; Wroclaw, N. Mus.) the evanescent nature of forms is expressed through restrained colour schemes, generally tending towards silvery greyish azure or shades of pink.