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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt belonged to the generation of pioneers, together with Thomas Moran, and the art history retained them both in the Hudson River School.

Bierstadt was the painter of American West. He traveled several times Westward in long journeys and came back with sketches that would led to large canvases (he was criticized, by the way, for their size, considered by some as the proof of an egotistical indulgence - his paintings always were dwarfing the works  of other artists that happened to be displayed together). And it was not only their size: there was also a use of light considered (again, by some) as excessive, also Bierstadt liked to emphasize atmospheric elements like fog, clouds, mist, to increase the effect of his works. But, as I said, he was a pioneer, an explorer, and he lived in the Romantic period, so no wonder he was fascinated by vastness, by light, and by the weapons of Mother Nature. Maybe it was a Pantheistic side in play.

(Old Masters)

(Napoleon Sarony)

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