A typical exhibit is ‘The Nativity’ by Francesco Giorgio who hailed from Siena. This work is beautiful and colourful as well as being rather striking in its matter of fact description.
Albert Bierstadt – Yosemite Valley, Glacier Born Trail
There is also an exhibition on Albert Bierstadt, a typical plein air artist from California at present with the vast oil painting ‘Yosemite Valley, Glacier Trail’ particularly enthusing. Albert Bierstatdt received her training at the Art institute of Chicago as well as the Cooper Union Art School in New York. His works were usually observed as lacking the use of strong colours but this style changed when he arrived at Laguna Beach as the palette he used brightened up considerably. He painted both in oils and watercolours. As a style, Bierstadt resembles Gaugin and also Renoir in her bold brushwork as well as use of impressionist techniques. Her landscape paintings often turn out to be highly appealing and faithful to the scenery from which they are typically inspired. Although he may be classed as modern, her style is very much in the traditionalist idiom especially in her still life, plein-air technqiues. Description of painting
The painting is full of original touches which demonstrate the originality of the artist’s brushwork. The trees are particularly effective in the sense that they create a sense of haunting beauty with the drooping characteristics and the colourings of the leaves. The vast expanse of the sea is contrasted with the smaller space given to the shore.
Bierstadt’s work is a typically romantic work with a vast canvas featuring a lonely expanse of the sea. The rocks are also very vivid in their characteristically wild depictions. It depicts the voyage of man from childhood to adulthood in a rather powerful way especially with the bold strokes of the sea. An instructive comparison is with Rosa Bonheur’s ‘The Plowing of the Camelia’s’ is quite different in the sense that it portrays a farmer guiding his beasts of burden through heavily ploughed soil. However there is a solitary figure also in the painting which indicates that the person is going through a sort of catharsis in work.
When one compares the brushwork in Cole’s work, it seems that there is an element of rage and anger in the elements which is rather powerful and striking on all counts. The romantic element does seem to be present in both works although there is an earthly sense of realism in Bonheur’s painting as opposed to the almost mythological fantasy in Cole’s. ‘The Voyage of Manhood’ is also rather striking in the sense that the figure of the man is almost tiny when compared with the vast cavern around him which seems to portray the universe as man travails through the stages of life.
Bonheur’s brushwork is also characteristically significant in that he manages to portray that sense of earthliness which is missing from Cole’s work which is quite on the mythological side (Sayre 2006). Both works are different yet they are also strikingly similar in certain aspects. The visit to the Tale University Art Gallery was certainly extremely instructive.
American paradise: the world of the Hudson River school. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. ISBN 9780870994968.
Hendricks, Gordon. Albert Bierstadt, Painter of the American West, Harrison House/Harry N. Abrams, Inc.: New York, New York 1988.