ALBERT BIERSTADT: THE PREMIER PAINTER OF AMERICAN WEST

Mesmerizing the war-torn nation by a golden image of their own Promised Land, the lavish and sweeping landscapes of German-born American painter Albert Bierstadt are admired for their detailed, objective and romantic style. A second-generation member of the Hudson River School, Bierstadt was born on January 7, 1830, in Solingen, Germany. His family moved to New Bedford, Massachusetts, in 1833.

Primarily self taught, Bierstadt began his professional career in 1850 as a drawing instructor. In 1853, he departed for Germany and studied painting for several years in Düsseldorf Academy, where he refined his technical abilities by painting Alpine landscapes. After returning to America in the fall of 1857, Bierstadt joined an overland survey expedition which allowed him to travel westward across the country. In December 1857 the Boston Athenaeum bought his work, The Portico of Octavia Rome, and assured his career.

From 1859 to 1864, Bierstadt exhibited at the Boston Athenaeum, at the Brooklyn Art Association from 1861 to 1879, and at the Boston Art Club from 1873 to 1880. He was a member of National Academy of Design, from 1860 to 1902. Bierstadt also kept a studio in the 10th Street Studio Building, New York City from 1861 to 1879 and was a member of the Century Association from 1862 to 1902.

Bierstadt became internationally renowned for his beautiful and enormous paintings of the newly accessible American west and popularity and wealth rose to tremendous heights. In 1867, he married to Rosalie and after few years when Rosalie diagnosed with consumption, the couple moved to Nassau, where Bierstadt began to paint the tropics of Nassau.

Bierstadt's highly detailed landscapes suffused with golden light remain popular and because of his interest in mountains Mount Bierstadt in Colorado is named in his honor. Bierstadt works are scattered through the museums around the United States. In 1998, the United States Postal Service issued a set of 20 commemorative stamps, one of which featured Albert Bierstadt’s “ The Last of the Buffalo”.

He died suddenly on February 18, 1902 and buried at the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford, Massachusetts.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published