Bierstadt, Albert

Bierstadt, Albert

(bēr`stät), 1830–1902, American painter of Western scenery, b. Germany. After traveling and sketching throughout the mountains of Europe, he returned to the United States. He then journeyed (1859) to the West with a trail-making expedition. His immense canvases of the Rocky Mts. and the Yosemite emphasized grandeur and drama, sometimes at the expense of clarity. His works were popular and commanded great prices during his lifetime. They include The Rocky Mountains (Metropolitan Mus.); Indian Encampment, Shoshone Village (N.Y. Public Lib.); The Last of the Buffalo (Corcoran Gall.); and Discovery of the Hudson River and The Settlement of California (Capitol, Washington, D.C.).
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Bierstadt, Albert

(1830–1902) painter; born in Solingen, Germany. His parents emigrated to New Bedford, Mass., (1832). After study in Düsseldorf and Rome (1853–57), he returned to America and took part in a survey expedition to the American West; the results were panoramic landscapes such as The Rocky Mountains (1863), and Looking Down Yosemite Valley (1865). Working mainly in his New York City studio, he was highly regarded in America and Europe until his approach was eclipsed by newer styles. His reputation, however, has recently enjoyed a revival.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.