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 :. | View of Wetterhorn from the Valley of Grindelwald | Lake in the Yosemite Valley | Seal Rock | The Wolf River, Kansas | Bernese Alps, oil on canvas |
Related Artists:SUBLEYRAS, Pierre
French Painter, 1699-1749
was a French painter, active during the late-Baroque and early-Neoclassic period, mainly in Italy. Subleyras was born in Saint-Gilles-du-Gard, France. He left France in 1728, having carried off the French Academy's grand prix, which carried scholarship for study in Rome. In Rome, he painted for the Elector of Saxony, Frederick Christian, a "Christ's Visit to the House of Simon the Pharisee" , (later engraved by Subleyras himself), this work procured his admission into the famed Roman artists guild, Accademia di San Luca. Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga next obtained for him the order for Saint Basil & Emperor Valens (also known as the Mass of St. Basil , which was executed in mosaic for St Peter's. Another masterpiece is his painting of St. Camillo De Lellis coming to the rescue of the diseased at the hospital of the Holy Spirit He was a remarkably incisive portraitist, as evident from the portrait of Pope Benedict XIV or of the obese Cardinal Valenti Gonzaga . The pope himself commanded two great paintings, the "Marriage of St Catherine" and the "Ecstasy of St Camilla", which he placed in his own private apartments. Subleyras shows greater individuality in his curious genre pictures, which he produced in considerable number (Louvre).Alfred Guillou
French Academic Painter, 1844-1926John Downman
English Painter, ca.1750-1824, English painter and draughtsman. He became a pupil of Benjamin West in 1768 and entered the Royal Academy Schools, London, the following year. In 1770 and 1772 he exhibited portraits at the Royal Academy and showed his first subject picture in 1773. He left for a period of study in Italy and was in Rome with Joseph Wright of Derby from 1773 to 1774. When he next exhibited at the Royal Academy (1777) he was living in Cambridge, but from 1778 to 1804 his considerable annual contribution to the Academy exhibitions was sent from various London addresses. His very popular small portraits were often shown in groups of six or nine. His occasional subject pictures were based on themes from mythology, Classical history, poetry and the theatre. They included a scene from As You Like It (untraced) painted for John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery. Downman became ARA in 1795 and travelled widely in later life, marrying in Exeter in 1806 and sending works to the Royal Academy (1805-12 and 1816-19) from all over the country.