Albert Bierstadt 1830-1902
Albert Bierstadt was born in Germany, near Dusseldorf, but was brought as a baby to the bustling whaling town of New Bedford, Massachusetts, where he was raised. Early artistic prowess led to formal training in Germany, where he was steeped in the soaring romantic aesthetic of the Dusseldorf School. On his return, Bierstadt set up his studio in New York and enjoyed early success. Inspired to travel to the West after hearing a lecture by Bayard Taylor, a famed writer and traveler of the day, Bierstadt managed to secure a place in an expedition to the Rocky Mountains. From the surreal yet very real majesty of the American Rockies, Bierstadt created massive, panoramic landscapes combining elements of the beautiful and the sublime that captured the popular imagination. Bierstadt’s images are directly responsible for conjuring the transcendental, transcontinental impulse to go West.