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 :. | Niagara | New Hampshire | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | Italian Lake Scene | Looking up Yosemite Valley |
Related Artists:Emile Pinchart
French, 1842 to 1924Polenov, Vasily
He began a systematic study of drawing in 1856, first with the landscape painter Pavel Cherkasov (1834-1900), then from 1859 to 1861 with Pavel Chistyakov (1832-1919). He also took lessons with Chistyakov, whom he considered his most important teacher, in 1871 and early 1872, after finishing his academic course. From 1863 to 1871 Polenov studied at the St Petersburg Academy of Art, where he met members of the progressive wing of the Russian artistic intelligentsia, and occasionally in the faculty of law at St Petersburg University. The classical education he received at home, his academic training and lessons with Chistyakov led Polenov towards an 'exalted' history painting, although he personally inclined towards landscape. This dualism remained in Polenov's work for the duration, and not until the late 1880s and early 1890s did he achieve a stable relationship between the two forms. The whole of his student career and the initial postgraduate, scholarship period was largely taken up with historical works: from academic compositions, for example the Resurrection of Jairus's Daughter (1871; Pskov, Mus. Hist., Archit. & A.), for which he received the Grand Gold Medal and a travel bursary (in Germany and Italy, 1872-3, and France, 1873-6), to numerous pictures and sketches on subjects from antiquity and medieval history, executed in France or shortly after his departure from there, under the perceptible influence of Paul Delaroche villon