Albert Bierstadt Painting Reproductions Gallery 1 of 101830-1902
German (Active in America) Hudson River School Painter
Albert Bierstadt (January 7, 1830 - February 18, 1902) was a German-American painter best known for his large, detailed landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.
Bierstadt was part of the Hudson River School, not an institution but rather an informal group of like-minded painters. The Hudson River School style involved carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism.
Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833. He studied painting with the members of the Düsseldorf School in Düsseldorf, 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 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.
He became the central figure of the Rocky Mountain School of American painting.
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, a charge that continues to be leveled by many of today's art historians. His paintings emphasized atmospheric elements like fog, clouds and mist to accentuate and complement the feel of his work.
Nonetheless, his paintings remain popular. He was a prolific artist, having completed over 400 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.
228 Paintings of Bierstadt
Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California
Kern River Valley California
The Buffalo Trail
Valley of the Yosemite
The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak
Sunlight and Shadow
Thunderstorm in the Rocky Mountains
View from the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming
Storm in the Mountains
Ruins of Paestum
Roman Fish Market, Arch of Octavius
Fishing Boats at Capri
Fir Trees and Storm Clouds
Lake Tahoe, California
Mount Vesuvius at Midnight
The Merced River in Yosemite