German-American painter Albert Bierstadt born in 1830, is most known for his lavish, vast scenes of the American West. He painted scenes from various expeditions during the Westward Expansion. For the remaining nineteenth century, he remained the most active painter of the places while not being the first to document them.
Bierstadt was conceived in Prussia but immigrated to America with his family at one. He went back to Düsseldorf and spent a long time studying painting. Various Albert Bierstadt paintings have been put up for an auction; realised values range from ten dollars to 7.3 million dollars, depending on the medium and size of the artwork. Here is a selection of Albert Bierstadt’s artworks that are quite expensive.
The Last of the Buffalo
The buffalo has represented Native American culture and life throughout history. In order to survive the frequently brutal winter weather on the western plains, several Native tribes in the west relied heavily on buffalo.
When Native Americans were violently forced out of their territories and made to live on small reservations in harsh regions of the United States, Bierstadt is regarded as one of the most significant artists to have created pieces that were historically and culturally pertinent to the situation.
His picture, The Last of the Buffalo, is arguably the most well-known Native American work ever created since it contains a great deal of symbolism and meaning as well as a direct portrayal of how western development was causing havoc on Native people.
In this scene, several buffalos meander through the grasslands towards a peaceful river, but one of the animals is fighting with a group of tribal hunters. The buffalo rushes at a Native American warrior riding a white horse as he desperately tries to spear the animal.
In 1888, when this Albert Bierstadt art was created, the buffalo were all but extinct. His artwork represents the last breathtaking example of Native American culture, which appeared to be disappearing along with the buffalo.
Cho-looke, the Yosemite Fall
On his second west visit in 1863, Bierstadt travelled with a group of artists to Yosemite Valley. This masterful, splendid work portrays the famous Falls’ impressive stature and calm spirit. Around their campsite in the foreground, close to an oak and cypress grove, a number of guys are solemnly gathered.
In the right-hand corner of the painting, items that Bierstadt carried on the trip are depicted, including a colour box, a drawing umbrella, and other items. The sheer physical beauty of the “Edenic” valley enthralled him. In his sketchbooks, Bierstadt recorded details that he’d later utilise to build massive canvases when he returned to New York City.
Among these was The Yosemite Fall’s Cho-Looke; the painting was publicly showcased at an exhibition. Interestingly, a reporter described it as “among Bierstadt’s best work.” He visited the workshop in1864. In the same month, President Abraham Lincoln approved a bill designating Yosemite as a Nature Preserve.
Storm in the Rocky Mountains
Storm in the Rocky Mountains is one of the most stunning Albert Bierstadt works. Nearly 12 feet by seven feet in size, it ended up taking Bierstadt 3 years to finish. As a skilled publicist, Bierstadt invited reporters to his studio to document the painting’s development. He sold tickets to a spectacular unveiling when it was eventually finished and did so with his customary theatrics.
The Somerville Arts Centre in New York City donated the painting’s initial exhibition’s sales revenues to a hospital for children there. The single artwork was then displayed in key US cities and in Europe, where many would-be immigrants would be enthralled by the magnificent depiction of this new nation and eager to see any photographs of America.
For Queen Victoria’s exclusive exhibition at Osborne House in 1967, it was displayed beside the painting The Rocky Mountains. Bierstadt sat down and talked with the Queen here about art. Despite one critic calling the artwork “big and flashy,” it was generally highly received. Thomas William Kennard, an English railway magnate, purchased it for about $20,000 from the seller.
Storm in the Rocky Mountains is a breathtaking picture that still holds people’s attention now, just as it did when Bierstadt first displayed it. Bierstadt created works of art in the Hudson River School aesthetic. He romanticises and imbues his vast landscapes with his unique idyllic worldview.
While on a journey in 1963, Bierstadt drew illustrations of the Rocky Rockies and the surrounding area, but he picked which locations to show and how to emphasise and exaggerate the immensity of the mountains. Additionally, Bierstadt was a maestro of luminism, as evidenced by his use of light in this painting to an uncanny, almost supernatural effect.
A serene sight, the lake appears to sparkle in the sunshine that shines on it, while the soft autumnal hues complete the scene. The incorporation of light in this picture is compatible with a trend popular at the time known as luminism, which was centred on rich, detailed paintings committed to faithfully capturing light in nature.
It is simple to understand why Bierstadt would be so interested in this part of the scene while glancing at A Quiet Lake. When a piece like this is on showcase, it almost seems to transport that sunlight inside the house. The chamber is filled with a rich history that deepens the complex picture as the sunshine filters through the trees and into the space.
He paints the subject carefully out of respect for the untainted countryside. By doing this, he captures a time in history that has far since passed, in addition to a moment of beauty.
Beyond the artistic merits of his landscape paintings, artist Bierstadt’s work is historically significant because he documented the enormous Western settlement throughout the U. S. in the 19th century. Many patriotic Americans look back on this time as the country’s Golden Age and have warm feelings about it.