Lot 108

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American, (1830-1902)
Winter in Yosemite
oil on paper laid down on canvas

  • Private Collection, New York, 1955; Alexander Gallery, New York, New York, 2006; Private Collection, Florida, 2006; Sotheby's, New York, New York, May 19, 2011, lot 67; Private Collection, New York.
  • Dimensions:
  • 13 1/2 x 19 inches
  • Artist Name:
  • Medium:
  • oil on paper laid down on canvas
  • Notes:
  • This work will be included in the forthcoming Albert Bierstadt catalogue raisonné database. We thank Melissa Webster Speidel, Director of the Albert Bierstadt Catalogue Raisonné Project, for her assistance in cataloging this lot.
    Albert Bierstadt was born in Solingen, Germany in 1830. He moved with his family when he was two years old to New Bedford, Massachusetts. As a young artist, he travelled back to Germany to seek formal instruction. Ironically, in Europe he met American artists Emanuel Leutze and Worthington Whittredge who served mentored the young artist.

    In 1858, a year after returning from Europe, Bierstadt exhibited his first painting in New York at the annual exhibition of the National Academy of Design. It was received with grand critical acclaim, and he was elected an honorary member of the academy. Following this successful reception, he began taking trips west to paint the American landscape.

    In 1863 with journalist and explorer, Fitz Hugh Ludlow, Bierstadt made his second trip to the West. On this trip he visited the Yosemite Valley for the first time. Ludlow and the artist camped in Yosemite Valley and Bierstadt made numerous studies returning to his studio to paint monumental canvases of the vast Western landscape.

    The present lot, Winter in Yosemite, depicts the landscape with barren deciduous trees and snow-covered pine trees. The still frozen water reflects light on the whole scene creating a shimmering silver effect. In this small composition, Bierstadt has made the crisp, cold air is palpable. His larger 1872 landscape, Yosemite Winter Scene (Berkeley Art Museum, 1881.4), he uses a similar approach in his depiction of the landscape.

    Bierstadt established a gallery at the Tenth Street Studio building inviting the public to view his monumental canvases of the Rockies, the Yosemite Valley, and other views of the western landscape. He continued to spend time in the West but also traveled back to Europe where he maintained a strong market for his work. In 1867, he was invited to show two paintings privately to Queen Victoria.

    Despite a successful career, towards the end of his life American tastes were changing and he struggled as an artist. In 1889, his submission to the American committee for the Paris Exposition Universelle was rejected. In 1902 Bierstadt died in New York as struggling artist. His work was not properly revaluated until the 1960s and he is now one of the best-known American artists of the 19th century.
    Framed dimensions: 22 x 27 3/4 x 4 inches

    Tags: landscape, Hudson River School, oil painting, snow, winter, Yosemite, California
  • Condition:
  • a repaired 1 inch tear apparent in upper right corner, UV photos available upon request, in very good overall condition, in a superior reproduction frame

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by Shannon's
October 28, 2021 6:00 PM EDT
Milford, CT, US

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