Yosemite Falls by Albert Bierstadt


Yosemite Falls


Albert Bierstadt

Ref RF61003-E2C
Type Canvas Print
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Bierstadt's reputation was firmly established in the early 1860s through paintings celebrating natural wonders of the American West that expeditions had begun to survey only a decade before. During his second trip west in 1863, Bierstadt visited Yosemite Valley, making oil sketches and drawings that would serve as studies for finished paintings he would compose in his New York studio. In contrast to canvases that suggest the expansiveness of the western landscape in monumental scale, the painting ‘Yosemite Falls’ is modest in its dimensions. Dramatic interest is created through the interplay of atmospheric affects: the spray from the falls above and the glassy reflections in the still water below. He painted in the tradition of the Hudson River School of artists. His work, like that of Thomas Hill who also painted in this style, showed a particular relationship between civilization on the one hand and wilderness on the other. Bierstadt’s paintings of the valley helped to make his reputation. They also helped to acquaint the members of Congress who would vote in 1864 to preserve the valley with its wonders.