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 :. | Landscape, Rockland County, California | Newbraska Wasatch Mountains | Die Wasserfalle von St Anthony | Lake Louise | Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains |
Related Artists:VEEN, Otto van
Flemish painter (b. 1556, Leiden, d. 1629, Bruxelles).
Flemish painter and draughtsman of Dutch birth. Although born in Holland, he is regarded as an artist of the Catholic southern Netherlands, where he spent most of his active life. He seems to have been acquainted with most of the Netherlandish scholars of his time, and his works testify to his broad humanistic learning. This and his prominent role in the early manifestations of the Counter-Reformation in Antwerp may have led Rubens to choose him as a teacher. Van Veen's importance as an artist has often been compared to the career of his famous pupil, for whom he was certainly the most important exemplar of the pictor doctus or learned painter. Van Veen obviously represents the older generation's more classicizing and conservative response to the Counter-Reformation. For him, the return to the spiritual values of the past also implied a recovery of the pictorial style of the High Renaissance, with its deliberate borrowings from the paintings of such artists as Raphael and Correggio.William Hays
May 9, 1819 C February 7, 1875George M Bruestle
George M Bruestle Gallery