Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902): Indians Crossing the

Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902): Indians Crossing the

7/12/2021, 5:29:00 PM
Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902): Indians Crossing the Colombia River (Indians on the Columbia River, with Mount Hood in the Distance) (detail) , 1867, oil on canvas, 60,3 x 90,8 cm As is typical of his distinctive aesthetic, Bierstadt presents a heroic vision of the Oregon landscape in 'Indians on the Columbia River'. It was on his second journey west in 1863 with the writer Fitz Hugh Ludlow that Bierstadt first beheld Mount Hood. The party traveled up from California into the Pacific Northwest on horseback and then by steamer and rail up the Columbia River from near Mount Hood. Suffused with a rosy golden light, the snowcapped, rocky peak of Mount Hood, in the painting, rises proudly above the Columbia River where a group of Indians row their boat across its crystalline waters towards the shore. Emanating tranquility and serenity, this Edenic vision of wilderness demonstrates Bierstadt’s response to the national desire for renewal and a return to peace in the aftermath of the Civil War. However, works such as Indians on the 'Columbia River' additionally attest to Bierstadt’s desire to adapt the European ideal of the sublime – the ability of the natural world to elicit awe and wonder – to an explicitly American landscape. (Sotheby's)

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