Albert Bierstadt
Mount Corcoran, c. 1876-1877
Oil on canvas
60 11/16 × 95 7/8 in. (154.1 × 243.5 cm)
Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund) 2014.79.4
Image Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

 

Born and trained in Europe, the Hudson River School artist Albert Bierstadt became famous for his large-scale landscapes of the American West. After the Gold Rush and completion of the Transcontinental Railroad, East Coast patrons grew increasingly fascinated by the unique topography of the western frontier, which Bierstadt captured time and again in impeccable naturalistic detail.
This depiction of a snowy peak, which towers above the clouds and trees that surround a tranquil lake below, is not entirely site-specific. Rather, it offers a composite of several views of the Sierra Nevadas that Bierstadt observed on his travels and later compiled and painted back in his studio on the East Coast. The artist journeyed extensively throughout the mountain ranges of the West, and his iconic canvases express a sense of the excitement and national pride felt for this majestic terrain.
Select facts derived from the www.NGA.gov collection object page: Mount Corcoran.

 

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