The Rocky Mountains, 1863
Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830 - 1902)
engraving, 19 x 29 1/2 in. (48.3 x 74.9 cm) (image)
Bequest of Rebecca Salsbury James,1967
Albert Bierstadt was a German-American painter best known for his lush, sweeping landscapes of the American West. As a young man he joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion that inspired a critical phase of his career. Upon returning east with his sketches and stereographs, Bierstadt established a studio in New York City in 1859. There he produced the first of the panoramic western landscapes that established his reputation on an international level. He continued to make many excursions west and painted the first known rendition of the Yosemite Valley in 1864. Bierstadt was also part of the Hudson River School, an informal group of like-minded painters whose painting style involved carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called luminism.