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 last Mossback | Lower Yosemite Valley | Pioneers_of_the_Woods | Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View | Street in Nassau |
Related Artists:Lachtropius, Nicolaes
Dutch Baroque Era Painter, active 1656-1700Thomas Birch
Thomas Birch Gallery
American painter of English birth. He was one of the most important American landscape and marine painters of the early 19th century. He moved to America in 1794 with his father William Birch (1755-1834), a painter and engraver from whom he received his artistic training. The family settled in Philadelphia, where William, armed with letters of introduction from Benjamin West to leading citizens of that city, became a drawing-master. Early in their American careers both Birches executed cityscapes, several of which were engraved. Thomas contributed a number of compositions to The City of Philadelphia in the State of Pennsylvania, North America, as it Appeared in the Year 1800 (1800), a series of views conceived by the elder Birch in obvious imitation of comparable British productions. An English sensibility is also apparent in the many paintings of country estates executed by father and son in the early 19th century (e.g. Eaglesfield, 1808; priv. col.). These compositions, along with such portrayals of important public edifices in and near Philadelphia as Fairmount Waterworks (1821; Philadelphia, PA Acad. F.A.), emphasize the cultural progress and commercial prosperity of the young United States as well as its almost Edenic natural beauty. Birch is also known for his representations of winter landscapes.Maclise, Daniel
Irish Painter, 1806-1870
Irish painter, active in England. He grew up in Cork where his father had set up as a shoemaker after discharge from the British army. In 1822 Maclise went to the Cork Institute where he began to draw from the newly arrived collection of casts made after the antique sculpture in the Vatican, laying the foundation of the strong draughtsmanship that characterizes his mature work. Richard Sainthill, antiquary and connoisseur, encouraged Maclise and introduced him to local literary and artistic circles, which were influenced by the Romantic movement and interested in Irish antiquities and oral traditions. Maclise was a central figure in this early phase of the Irish revival, and maintained an interest in Irish subject-matter throughout his career; in 1833 he painted Snap Apple (Mrs Cantor priv. col.), and in 1841 contributed illustrations to Samuel Carter Hall's Ireland: Its Scenery and Character. When Sir Walter Scott visited Cork in 1825, Maclise made a sketch of him that was lithographed, and that inaugurated his public career.