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    Description

    ALBERT BIERSTADT (American 1830-1902)
    Butterfly, 1895
    Watercolor and gouache on paper
    8in. x 10in.
    Signed and dated lower right: Albert Bierstadt, May 1/95

    While Bierstadt is best known for his large evocative landscapes of the American West, he also produced smaller pictures with an intimate and immediate sensibility. He often created impromptu paintings of butterflies for guests who toured his studio. One visitor described her experience at Bierstadt's studio: "We women were so glad we were women that afternoon, for Mr. Bierstadt presented each lady with a souvenir. We all clustered about the table and he took out a palette, a knife and some large slips of cartridge paper. Two or three daubs of pigment on the paper, a quick fold, and holding it still folded against a pane of glass, he made two or three [strokes] of that wizard-like palette knife on the outside and, hey, presto! A wonderful Brazilian butterfly or moth, even the veining on the wings complete!" The present Butterfly was kept in the collection of the artist and his second wife, descending with their heirs for almost a century.

    Provenance: The artist's second wife, Mrs. Mary Stewart
    by descent to her nephew and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Reed, New York
    by descent to their niece, Ruth Reinhart Hurley, CT
    Estate of Ruth Reinhart Hurley, CT
    Berry Hill Galleries, New York
    acquired from the above by the present owner

    Reference: Quoted in Gordon Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West, 1986, p. 302).



    Condition Report*: Very good condition; repairs along right and left edges; top right and left edges show normal signs of age.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2006
    3rd-4th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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