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 :. | Fishing Boats at Capri | Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California | Estes Park | Mountainous Landscape | Niagara |
Related Artists:Henry Ossawa Tanner
African-American Realist Painter, 1859-1937
American painter. He was one of the foremost African American artists, achieving an international reputation in the early years of the 20th century for his religious paintings. The son of an African Methodist Episcopal bishop, he studied art with Thomas Eakins from 1880 to 1882 at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia. He then worked in Philadelphia and Atlanta, GA, where he ran a photography studio and taught at Clark College.Kuhn Justus Engelhardt
d.1717Loo, Louis-Michel van
Flemish active in France, 1707-1771
Painter, son of Jean-Baptiste van Loo. He trained with his father in Turin and Rome, later attending the courses of the Acad?mie Royale in Paris. He received the institution's first prize for painting in 1726, and in 1728, accompanied by his brother, Fran?ois, and his uncle, Carle, returned to Rome where he was associated with Francois Boucher. On his way back to France, he stayed for a time in Turin, painting portraits of the royal family of Sardinia, the Duke and Duchess of Savoy. In Paris he was admitted to membership of the Acad?mie Royale and in 1735 was appointed assistant teacher at the Academie, becoming renowned as a specialist in portrait painting. Most of his portraits from this period are half-length, combining ideas from Hyacinthe Rigaud's later work with other more natural and innovative ones. On the death of Jean Ranc, Philip V of Spain asked Rigaud to suggest a substitute, and van Loo was proposed. He arrived in Madrid in 1737 and remained there as Pintor de la Corte until 1752, responding with modern aesthetic ideas to the demands of the Spanish monarchs for pomp and splendour. He carried out court commissions but devoted part of his time to teaching, his pupils often becoming studio assistants. He also took an active part in meetings held over a number of years to establish the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de S Fernando, for which he produced the canvas, the Education of Cupid by Venus and Mercury