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 Kern River Valley, a montane canyon in the Sierra Nevada, California | Scene in the Sierra Nevada | Home of the Rainbow, Horseshoe Falls, Niagara | Mount Corcoran | Fishing_from_a_Canoe |
Related Artists:Adriaen de Gryef
Belgium (1670-1715 ) - PainterFranz Eybl
painted Selbstporträt mit Hut. in 1840Ralph Albert Blakelock
(October 15, 1847 - August 9, 1919) was a romanticist painter from the United States.
Ralph Blakelock was born in New York City on October 15, 1847. In 1864, Blakelock entered the Free Academy of the City of New York (now known as the City College) with aspirations of becoming a physician. After his third term he opted to dismiss his formal education and left college. From 1869-71 he traveled west, extensively wandering far from known civilization and spending time among the American Indians. Largely self-taught as an artist, he began producing competent landscapes, depicting select views from his travels, as well as scenes of American Indian life. His works were exhibited in the National Academy of Design.
Moonlight, 1885, the Brooklyn MuseumIn 1877 Blakelock married Cora Rebecca Bailey; they had nine children. In art, Blakelock was a genius, yet, in business dealings and in monetary transactions he proved a failure. He found it difficult, if not crushing to maintain and support his wife and children. In desperation he found himself selling his paintings for extremely low prices, far beneath their known worth. In hopes of lifting his family from abject poverty, reportedly on the day his 9th child was born, Blakelock had offered a painting to a collector for $1000. The collector made a counter offer and after refusing the proposed sum Blakelock found himself in a bitter argument with his wife. After the domestic dispute, Blakelock returned to the patron and sold the painting for a much lesser sum. Defeated and frustrated, it is said he broke down and tore the cash into pieces. And so it was after such repeated failed business transactions that he began to suffer from extreme depression and eventually show symptoms of mental frailty. In 1899 he suffered a breakdown.