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Albert Bierstadt

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Albert Bierstadt is undoubtedly a striking figure of the 19th Century in the world of painting, courtesy of his enormous landscape paintings which always left people yearning for more. Albert was a German-American painter born in Germany on 7th 1830, and later relocated to America with his family where they settled on the expansive New Bedford, Massachusetts. This new neighborhood formed the cornerstone of Albert’s interest for painting and he found himself in Hudson River School which was not an academic l institution by design, but a collection of people with the same interests, inspirations and ambitions (Anderson et al, 12) 

The year 1853 was remarkable in shaping the kind of artist Albert would be. In this year, he made a come back to Germany and studied art at the German Dusseldorf School. This provided a life time opportunity of giving him the chance to creatively re-energize his technical prowess by painting on some of the available materials in the school. This, he tackled extensively through his painting of the Alpine landscapes which earned him a lot of accolades from the school as well as its neighborhood. After his graduation from Dusseldorf, Albert was ripe to handle any paintings that he had interest in; something he constructively actualized on his return to America after joining the survey expedition group. This group was phenomenon in his life as it made it possible for him to travel extensively on the westward side of the country where he always harbored enormous interests (Anderson et al, 14).

It is to be recognized that Albert always had enormous interests for westward landscape and as such, his general arts and paintings had strong links to the westward landscape. Therefore, any definition and description would be incomplete if westward sceneries are omitted in Albert’s pieces of work. As already mentioned, Albert resorted to joining overland survey expedition that would provide him the opportunity he needed in exploring the enormous landscape of mountains that characterized westward country side; this was the genesis of his professional work. Through the journey organized by the survey group, Albert was able to develop magnificent drawings which became the common denominator for many studies in his studio in New York. The journey acquainted him with some of the beautiful mountains and formations which made sketches about. Above all, Albert’s assurance of good work was boosted in the year 1857 when he was able to find a buyer for one of his developed pieces of work by the name, Portico of Octavia (Anderson et al, 19).

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It is to be realized that Albert Bierstadt did not only choose painting as a profession, but it was all he loved. In deed before returning to Germany to study at Dusseldorf, he had already begun working on his casual paintings of the White Mountains which he had visited earlier. This attests to the fact that Bierstadt’s love for painting and drawing was in deed in the blood and as such, would sacrifice anything just to achieve that love. To ensure that he exponentially achieved satisfaction for his work, he rationally selected the kind of neighborhood to stay and which did not bring any conflict to what he loved.  Albert enjoyed positive growth and popularity in his wok and by the year 1860, he visited New Hampshire together with his brother to further his profession by working in one of the photography mediums in the city (Hendricks, 21).

The first contracts with exhibiting companies

Albert’s popularity and people’s love for his work enabled him to secure lucrative contracts.  For instance, he exhibited his products in Boston Athenaeum between the years 1859-1864, Brooklyn Art Association from 1861-1879 among others. These are lucrative opportunities that had enormous returns attached on them; hence securing such deals was a manifestation of the great work he produced as compared to other artists of his time. His extraordinary work was further compounded by his membership in several arts association across America, such as the Century Association and the National Academy of Design which both commanded a lot of respect from several quarters. It therefore looked inevitable that Albert was a force to reckon with in the 19th century, making him to receive some of the prestigious awards and international accolades of that time. It is recorded that Albert through his work became very successful monetary wise as his paintings and exhibitions were able to attract high returns as compared to those of other artists. Notably, Albert’s wealth and popularity did not last throughout his lifetime. His fortune particularly dwindled when Boston school through its philosophy of impressionism came to be envied by many people in America (Hendricks, 24).

Challanges in other fields

Just like in any other field, rising to fame for Bierstadt was not without hitches or challenges. He for instance faced tough battles from his critics who in one way or the other belittled the high self esteem he was enjoying.  Particularly, they were concerned about the magnitude of canvases that they persistently referred to as egotistical, since there use brought sharp contrast between works of other artists and Bierstadt. It is to be recognized that in the 19th century, philosophy of romanticism was not universal or common to a large number of population despite Bierstadt heavily invested in this idea.  This style did not auger well with other people who felt it was excessively used than required. Such resentment was either informed out of religious teachings which were often referred to in times of explanation crisis, or developed out of jealousy from competing quarters. But despite these challenges, there is no doubt that Albert was able to overcome all of them and reach the level where he was internationally recognized (Hendricks, 31).

Looking at his biography and history of work, Albert invested a lot of time to what he loved since childhood. This can be seen in the number of years he worked in the art industry without shifting to another profession, more so, the kinds of accolades and international recognitions he enjoyed at his time were only possible to somebody who had invested a great deal of time to what he loved. Therefore, looking at his background, his rise to fame can be attributed to several factors such as in born love for art, proper education, knowledge of different countries and their cultures and resilience among others. For instance, Albert stayed in Germany and knew what to expect of a typical German; such familiarity with diverse cultures of the world made his work stood out amongst several arts. For instance, his use of atmospheric elements which people were familiar with was quite distinct separating him greatly from other artists (William Newton, 41).

Conclusion

The period of 19th century was actually the time of art or painting growth. This is the time when people were trying to discover a lot of things the environment hid, and as such, art was one of those avenues used to convey hidden message. It is the time when the likes of Albert played a critical role in shaping people’s understanding of what nature presented. But in displaying information through art, success depended on a number of factors which if were not well articulated did plunge artists into failures. Albert for instance was not able to maintain his high status throughout his life time as people shifted to what Boston School offered. Therefore, just like in many other fields and specialization, time was a factor in the field of art. What people prefer today is likely to change in the future as civilization progresses.

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