"Albert Bierstadt was one of the most prominent painters on two contients during the sixties and seventies of the previous century. Having grown up in Bedford, Massachusetts, Bierstadt returned to Duesseldorf at the age of 23 to study at the Academy of Arts under Andreas Achenbach and Karl Friedrich Lessing.
In 1859, Bierstadt joined General Lander's expedition to the Rocky Mountains and became the first man to paint the snow-covered high country, the granite domes and cathedrals of the Sierra Nevada and the Yosemite Valley. "I found," wrote Bierstadt, "the figures of the Indians and their picturesque dress very alluring. Their customs and habits are still the same as they were hundreds of years ago--now is the time to paint them for they are disappearing fast." Bierstadt made paintings and drawings which, in addition to their artistic significance, are of a documentary value that continues to be highly esteemed.
His powerful, even outsized landscapes portraying the wild grandeur of virgin country and the loneliness of the Indians who were often shown standing forlornly in the foreground(such as "Landers Peak" and "Storm in the Rocky Mountains," "Evening on Mount Tacoma," and "Indian Camp at the Base of the Rocks") quickly gained him fame, remuneration, and high honors, including the French Legion of Honor and the Gold Medal at an exhibition of the Berlin Academy. Bierstadt's paintings appealed to a romantic longing for the wild West among his contemporaries."
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