Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California, 1865, A Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mt. Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery, Albert Bierstadt’s Valley of the Yosemite, Meet the Artists of Alexander von Humboldt and the United States: Art, Nature, and Culture. It was in Yosemite that Bierstadt considered he had discovered his ‘garden of Eden’, and this little picture, completed from sketches made during a surveying trip and worked up in his studio in New York, is replete with the scenery that so ravished his attention. Description. Photographs and landscape paintings by artists, including Bierstadt, who traveled with government survey expeditions during the late 18505 and 186os captivated popular audiences and inspired pioneering environmental legislation to protect the region from commercial exploitation. Its lighting style has unique characteristics that puts it high above many typical landscapes by adding a powerful character and emotion experienced by the artist himself. It’s pretty awesome that Bierstadt can create this three-dimensional space and let the background fade away but still be an essential part of the piece. Bierstadt’s piece, which seems a little cheesy after experiencing the modernist, surrealist, and minimalist art movements, still beautifully captures a romantic natural warmth and a sense of vastness that simultaneously evokes feelings of belonging, familiarity, and disconnection. ( Log Out /  Upon viewing Yosemite, Albert Bierstadt immediately wrote to his friend, John Hay, in August 1863, saying he discovered the Garden of Eden in America: Yosemite. 1171 Main Street Beautiful! Bierstadt's best-known works of Yosemite are the large ones in which the valley's features are easily recognized. Never were words so beggared for an abridged translation of any Scripture of Nature. For this painting appears to be nothing if not a carefully meditated exercise St. Johnsbury, VT, 05819 James Lenox bought it for his personal art collection. Its presence in St. Johnsbury is a testament to Fairbanks' desire to make the Athenaeum a center for the study of art and culture. I love the warm light and ‘Hudson River School’ feeling. Capturing the beauty of the natural world has been a central goal of thousands of artistic pieces throughout human existence, be it in words, photography, illustration, or painting. A painter of the Hudson River School, Bierstadt's style also had aspects of luminism. The middle ground is not intrusive but has a lot to look at and enjoy, even a cutesy little deer. Bierstadt’s painting shows a highly realistic, yet dreamlike visualization of the American West at a time when it was first being expansively explored. Bierstadt's best-known works of Yosemite are the large ones in which the valley's features are easily recognized. this is the work of an artist who in private moments feels the pulse of nature and is absorbed by it. As in his other large paintings, Bierstadt here appears most in control of his technical faculties and most willing to reveal his own feelings for the landscape; Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. In Bierstadt’s time photography had not evolved even remotely close to the point it has today. As seen in this depiction of Yosemite, the setting sun casts a yellow-orange glow over the entire landscape. Since this painting was on a smaller scale than his other larger panoramic scenes and it was done on paperboard, it is often thought that it is a sketch for his significantly larger, Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California, which was painted a year later in 1865. Copyright © 2011-Present www.Albert-Bierstadt.com All Rights Reserved. He spent the next four years traveling through Germany, Italy, and Switzerland before returning to the United States. The sense of vastness that comes from the perspective use of foreground, middleground, and background offers a reflection of the artist’s emotional attachment to the image. Nevertheless, the work was originally commissioned for the Connecticut home of financier Legrand Lockwood well before the Athenaeum was founded. The painting was created during a period of self-discovery for Americans fascinated by the western landscape and its awe-inspiring natural phenomena. I hesitate now, as I did then, at the attempt to give my vision utterance. Mondschein was an art dealer and collector. With him, the artist brought a stereoscopic camera, which emulates human sight by taking two photographs simultaneously just inches apart, a forerunner of three-dimensional glasses. It doesn’t have the unexpected fantastical twists and turns of a Dali landscape, it doesn’t make huge statements with only a few boxy sequences, and it doesn’t bend reality into an unseen perception, so why?