Albert Bierstadt, born January 7th in the year 1830, was a German-American painter who was best recognized for his particularly sweeping landscape paintings of the American West. Albert was among the second generation of landscape painters in America who specialized in the grand views of American West (Bishop 340).

Bierstadt first went to the American West in 1859, when he sketched and made paintings of the grand mountain vistas (Ibid).  Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California was one such work of the American West’s inspiration to Albert.

In this gigantic landscape, tiny foreground wildlife sets off a spectacular scale, and brilliant lighting of the peaks and cliffs (340). Completed in 1868, the luminism style painting done in oil paints can be viewed at the National Museum of American Art (Washington DC).

Albert painted the artwork in his Rome studio which was then showed in Berlin and London before shipping it to the U.S.A. The paintwork was done during an era occasioned by a favourable market for visual marvels of the nation’s frontiers and this fuelled America’s image as a promised land.

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Albert’s painting was done using oil based paints which was the commonest medium used by painters during and years after the American Revolution (1775 – 1783). Invented by Jan Van Eyck, a great Flemish painter, the medium was and still is great for producing realistic paintings that are luminous, hardwearing and containing easy to blend colours.

The most important lines and shapes in the painting are those that portray the overall topography of the land, light effects, clouds and waterfalls. The land is portrayed as rigid, rough and mountainous.

The color is bold and strong, with lighting that perfectly brings harmony to the painting as a whole. It also captures and embodies all the elements and aspects that this course offers. This defines a magnificent art work that is rightfully treasured and praised.

Art of the American Revolution. (2014). Advantages and Disadvantages of Oil Painting.
Retrieved 22nd April 2014. From:—disadvantages-of-oil-painting.html.

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