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 :. | Multnomah Falls | Staubbach Falls, Near Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland | The Grand Tetons | Yosemite Valley | Indians Fishing |
Related Artists:Charles Landseer
English Painter, 1799-1879John Greenhill
(c. 1644 -19 May 1676) was an English portrait painter, a pupil of Peter Lely, who approached his teacher in artistic excellence, but whose life was cut short by a dissolute lifestyle.
Greenhill was born at Salisbury, Somerset (now Wiltshire) around 1644, the eldest son of John Greenhill, registrar of the diocese of Salisbury, and Penelope Champneys, daughter of Richard Champneys of Orchardleigh, Somerset. His grandfather was Henry Greenhill of Steeple Ashton in Wiltshire. His father was connected through his brothers with the East India trade.
Greenhill's first attempt was a portrait of his paternal uncle, James Abbott of Salisbury, whom he is said to have sketched surreptitiously, as the old man would not sit for him. About 1662 he moved to London, and became a pupil of Sir Peter Lely. His progress was rapid, and he acquired some of Lely's skill and method. He carefully studied Vandyck's portraits, and George Vertue commented that he copied so closely Vandyck's portrait of "Thomas Killigrew and his dog" that it was difficult to know which was the original. Vertue also says that his progress excited Lely's jealousy.
Greenhill was at first industrious, and married early. But a taste for poetry and drama, and living in Covent Garden in the vicinity of the theatres, led him to associate with many members of the free-living theatrical world, and he fell into "irregular habits". On 19 May 1676, while returning from the "Vine Tavern" (in Holborn) in a state of intoxication, he fell into the gutter in Long Acre, and was carried to his lodgings in Lincoln's Inn Fields, where he died the same night. He was buried in St Giles in the Fields church. He left a widow and family, to whom Lely gave an annuity.Emil janssen