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 :. | Oregon Trail (Campfire) | The Matterhorn | The Mountain Brook | Boats Ashore at Sunset | California Sunset |
Related Artists:Perov, Vasily
Russian Painter, 1834-1882
Russian painter. Son of a public prosecutor, he studied intermittently at Arzamas from 1846 to 1849 at the Art School of Alexander Stupin (1776-1862), a classicist painter whose School was the first of its type in provincial Russia, and during the 1850s at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture under Sergey Zaryanko. The work of Pavel Fedotov, pictorial satire in the press and genre scenes by the Old Dutch masters and William Hogarth were the greatest formative influences on Perov. His early works, permeated by a Biedermeier romantic spirit, combine detailed brushwork with anecdotal narrative and aim at criticizing social behaviour in line with the contemporary democratic doctrines of such writers as Nikolay Chernyshevsky. Such anti-clerical pictures as the Village Sermon (1861; Moscow, Tret'yakov Gal.) are distinguished by a particular irony. As in the prose of Nikolai Leskov, which has many affinities with Perov's painting, there is a conflict between feelings of love and hatred, and between an intimate knowledge of the daily life of the people and an alienating irony. In 1862-4 Perov travelled abroad, working mainly in Paris, where he painted a series of vivid genre scenes of city life. Perov's success as a genre painter reached its peak in the latter half of the 1860s. His compositions become more laconic and expressive; overcoming an indisciplined use of colour, he achieved an impressive unity with an austere greyish-brown palette. Such works as the Drowned Girl (1867) and the Last Tavern by the City Gates Anton Faistauer
painted Alte Muhle bei Maishofen in 1911Gerard Dou
was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose small, highly-polished paintings are typical of the Leiden fijnschilders. He specialised in genre scenes and is noted for his trompe l'oeil "niche" paintings and candlelit night-scenes with strong chiaroscuro. His first instructor in drawing and design was Bartholomew Dolendo, an engraver; and he afterwards learned the art of glass-painting under Peter Kouwhoorn. At the age of 15 he became a pupil of Rembrandt, with whom he continued for three years. From the great master of the Dutch school he acquired his skill in coloring, and in the more subtle effects of chiaroscuro; and the style of Rembrandt is reflected in several of his earlier pictures, notably in a portrait of himself at the age of 22, in the Bridge-water House gallery, and in the "Blind Tobit going to meet his Son", at Wardour Castle. At a comparatively early point in his career, however, he had formed a manner of his own distinct from, and indeed in some respects antagonistic to, that of his master. Gifted with unusual clearness of vision and precision of manipulation, he cultivated a minute and elaborate style of treatment; and probably few painters ever spent more time and pains on all the details of their pictures down to the most trivial. He is said to have spent five days in painting a hand; and his work was so fine that he found it necessary to manufacture his own brushes. Notwithstanding the minuteness of his touch, however, the general effect was harmonious and free from stiffness, and his color was always admirably fresh and transparent. He was fond of representing subjects in lantern or candle light, the effects of which he reproduced with a fidelity and skill which no other master has equaled. He frequently painted by the aid of a concave mirror, and to obtain exactness looked at his subject through a frame crossed with squares of silk thread. His practice as a portrait painter, which was at first considerable, gradually declined, sitters being unwilling to give him the time that he deemed necessary. His pictures were always small in size, and represented chiefly subjects in still life. Upwards of 200 are attributed to him, and specimens are to be found in most of the great public collections of Europe. His chef-d'oeuvre is generally considered to be The dropsical woman, 1663, and The Dutch Housewife, 1650, both in the Louvre. The Evening School, in the Amsterdam Rijksmuseum, is the best example of the candlelight scenes in which he excelled. In the National Gallery, London, favorable specimens are to be seen in the Poulterer's Shop,