Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830-1902), 'El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California,' Oil on canvas, 1875. Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Rike, 1959.18
The wonders of Colorado's Rocky Mountains (America's Alps) and the Sierra Nevadas in California were largely known to Americans in the East only through travelers' accounts and paintings by intrepid artists. Though not the first artist to depict these mountains, Bierstadt's majestic paintings spurred tourism to the West and helped spark the movement to preserve national lands. Bierstadt's views of the monumental cliff face of El Capitan helped make this the most recognized site in the Yosemite Valley.
Landscape scenes like this, painted in the artist's studio but based on sketches made during journeys to the West, were very popular with art collectors in America's urban centers. These paintings reminded city dwellers of the untamed beauty of the American wilderness, providing a sense of identity for the young nation.
Print Size: 36" x 26"