Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt

A German émigré, Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) returned to his native country to study painting at the famed Düsseldorf Academy, and then spent time in Switzerland and Italy. When he returned to the United States he made his name as a painter of the American West. He traveled to the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming with the government survey expedition of Colonel Frederick W. Lander. The chief product of that trip, The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak (1863), was exhibited alongside Church’s Heart of the Andes (1859) at the Metropolitan Fair in New York in 1864. Bierstadt exhibited as a European, yet was one of the first artists to visit numerous American sites, including Yosemite. His large-scale paintings of its iconic wilderness became world-famous during his lifetime and garnered elite international clientele. Bierstadt traveled extensively throughout the West, Canada, Alaska, Europe, and the West Indies.


Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak, 1863
Oil on canvas, 73½ x 120¾ inches
Collection Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Rogers Fund, 1907, 07.123

 


Frederic Edwin Church (1826–1900) Heart of the Andes, 1859
Oil on canvas, 66⅛ x 119¼ inches
Collection Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY, Bequest of Margaret E. Dows, 1909, 09.95