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 :. | Sunset over a Mountain Lake | The Open Glen, New England | Evening on the Prairie | Evening Glow at Lake Louise, Rocky Mountains, Canada | Olevano |
Related Artists:GIOVANNI DA MODENA
Italian painter, Bolognese school (active 1409-1456 in Bologna)Stacy Tolman
American, 1860-1935Thomas Heaphy
English Painter, 1775-1835
He trained at John Boyne's drawing school in Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury, London, and exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy from 1797. Following the success of a portrait of the Russian ambassador, Count Woronzow, he was appointed portrait painter to the Princess of Wales. Thomas Lawrence observed Heaphy's success and bought some of his pictures but had little cause to envy Heaphy's style, which owed much to the vocabulary of civic portraiture popularized by Joshua Reynolds (e.g. Portrait of a Naval Officer; London, V&A). Heaphy's largest project, The Duke of Wellington in Consultation with his Officers Previous to a General Engagement (Newcastle upon Tyne, Laing A.G.), was begun in Spain in 1813 during the Peninsular War and was finished in 1816. The engraving, which was intended to ensure Heaphy's fortune, was not released until 1822, by which time interest in the war had waned. Heaphy failed to finish his Battle of Waterloo (1816; untraced), another panoramic multiple portrait. Heaphy's other speciality, paintings of ports, markets, tradespeople and labourers, brought him great popularity between 1807 and 1811.