The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak

Lander's Peak

Description

Albert Bierstadt is one of the two most exceptional students of the Hudson River School, the other being Frederic Church. They often found themselves and their artwork in competition. As Church captured the southern hemisphere, Bierstadt seized the American West focusing on the Rockies of Wyoming. Bierstadt painted this and other versions of Lander’s Peak in his New York studio from oil sketches compiled during a government surveying expedition headed by Frederick W. Lander.

The Rocky Mountains is rich with the traditional qualities of the picturesque such as the trees lining the periphery of the landscape, a body of water connecting the foreground and background to demonstrate the painting’s depth, and a general landscape evoking nostalgia. Notably the ruins have been substituted for teepees, indicating a sense of awe and out-of-datedness for the Shushanna tribe. The dead game in the right foreground suggests an environment abounding with western wildlife. In the center of the painting the sunlight plays on the waterfall, illuminating it like a jewel. This focal point, which juxtaposes with the dark tree line, unites the various layers of the painting as the onlooker gazes from the foreground to the enlightened skyline while following the well-lit features. The quiet, reflective lake and two native American figures regarding the scene’s beauty at the water’s edge suggest a contemplative tone. In The Rocky Mountains, Bierstadt captures a classic, panoramic depiction of Lander’s peak comparable to the landscape paintings of other German painters such as Andreas Achenbach.

MetaData

Dublin Core

Title

The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak

Subject

Rocky Mountains, Bierstadt, painting, Hudson River School

Description

Albert Bierstadt is one of the two most exceptional students of the Hudson River School, the other being Frederic Church. They often found themselves and their artwork in competition. As Church captured the southern hemisphere, Bierstadt seized the American West focusing on the Rockies of Wyoming. Bierstadt painted this and other versions of Lander’s Peak in his New York studio from oil sketches compiled during a government surveying expedition headed by Frederick W. Lander.

The Rocky Mountains is rich with the traditional qualities of the picturesque such as the trees lining the periphery of the landscape, a body of water connecting the foreground and background to demonstrate the painting’s depth, and a general landscape evoking nostalgia. Notably the ruins have been substituted for teepees, indicating a sense of awe and out-of-datedness for the Shushanna tribe. The dead game in the right foreground suggests an environment abounding with western wildlife. In the center of the painting the sunlight plays on the waterfall, illuminating it like a jewel. This focal point, which juxtaposes with the dark tree line, unites the various layers of the painting as the onlooker gazes from the foreground to the enlightened skyline while following the well-lit features. The quiet, reflective lake and two native American figures regarding the scene’s beauty at the water’s edge suggest a contemplative tone. In The Rocky Mountains, Bierstadt captures a classic, panoramic depiction of Lander’s peak comparable to the landscape paintings of other German painters such as Andreas Achenbach.

Creator

Albert Beirstadt, American (born Germany), 1830-1902

Source

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (The Met)

Publisher

Frederick W. Lander

Date

1863

Contributor

Tristan Furnary

Rights

Public domain

Relation

Paintings and Sculpture

Format

186.7 x 306.7 cm (73 1/2 x 120 3/4 in.)

Language

En-US

Type

Painting

Identifier

07.123

Coverage

Alternative Title

Lander's Peak

Date Created

February 20, 2018

Access Rights

Public domain

License

N/A

Medium

Oil on canvas

Bibliographic Citation

https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/10154

Spatial Coverage

Wind River Range, Wyoming

Temporal Coverage

Civil War, 19th Century

Accrual Method

Donated by means of the Rogers Fund, 1907

Audience

General audience

Provenance

1865, Seitz and Noelle Gallery, New York to American James McHenry, a British railway entrepreneur, London for $25,000; 1898, to Albert Bierdstadt; 1898, gifted to Edward Bierstadt; 1907, bequest to E. Bierstadt's daughter Mary Adeline Beirstadt.

Rights Holder

https://www.metmuseum.org/information/terms-and-conditions

Citation

Albert Beirstadt, American (born Germany), 1830-1902, “The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak,” Park Culture, accessed March 5, 2021, http://parkculture.org/items/show/116.

Geolocation