Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    ALBERT BIERSTADT (American 1830 - 1902)
    Deep in the Rockies
    Oil on paper on panel
    18 x 25-½in.
    Signed lower right, ABierstadt [AB in ligature]

    PROVENANCE:
    Newhouse Galleries, New York, NY;
    Mr. and Mrs. F. Howard Walsh, Fort Worth, Texas;
    Walsh Family Art Trust

    German-born Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902) is best known for his huge, panoramic landscapes of the then-unsettled American West. Like Frederic Church before him, and Thomas Moran who became one of his fiercest artistic competitors, Bierstadt was a highly ambitious painter who traveled widely in search of material for his grand landscapes of America's natural beauty. As studies for the monumental canvases he produced later in the studio, Bierstadt made numerous field sketches from life in oil on paper, canvas, and board. These more intimate efforts, including the exceptionally well-painted Deep in the Rockies, have a marvelous immediacy that often holds greater appeal to modern sensibilities than his theatrical finished efforts.

    Albert Bierstadt had the distinct advantage of being better training than most American artists who ventured west to record the scenery. He had studied for three years at the Düsseldorf Academy, had painted in Italy, and, perhaps most importantly, had learned how to paint mountains by painting the Alps. In Boston and his hometown of New Bedford, Massachusetts (where his parents had settled upon arriving in the United States), he enjoyed early success with his paintings of landscape and European genre, due in no small measure to a talent for self-promotion. At the height of his career, he kept a New York studio, lived in a mansion on the Hudson, and kept company with European royalty and American presidents. But once the vogue for his detailed panoramic views faded after the Civil War, his fortunes declined, too.

    Beginning in 1858, Bierstadt made the first of his trips west. For his initial venture he joined an expedition under Frederick W. Lander to survey a wagon road from Fort Laramie, Wyoming, to the Pacific. In 1860 he exhibited the first of his Rocky Mountain landscapes at the National Academy of Design in New York, winning immediate election to that body. Thus encouraged, he made subsequent trips west in 1863, 1866, and 1872, laying the foundations for large-scale canvases that proved to be enormously popular with the public and brought record prices. After exploring the mountains on his initial trip, Bierstadt wrote a letter to The Crayon, an artistic journal, declaring the Rockies true rivals of the Alps. His honest enthusiasm for the Rockies marked the beginning of his occupation with the subject that was to bring him fame and enormous fortune. Because of Bierstadt's interest in mountain landscapes, Mount Bierstadt in Colorado is named in his honor.

    Although the particular arrangement of pines and deciduous trees in the present sketch cannot be traced to a specific large-scale work by Bierstadt, it resembles the subject of a smaller landscape on canvas in the permanent collection of the Newark Museum in Newark, New Jersey (Gordon Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt. Painter of the American West, New York, 1973, no. CL-156, ill.). Although it is made from life, and records the arbitrary arrangement of plants growing in the wilderness, the painting nonetheless has a clarity of tone and color placement that the makes the scene spatially convincing. This skill was one Bierstadt translated into his more orchestrated compositions, where readability on a large scale was a requisite for artistic success.



    Condition Report*: Condition report available upon request.
    *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.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2006
    9th-10th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,065

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2019 November 5 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    We are very glad that we selected Heritage - The whole Heritage Team was a pleasure to do business with!
    Richard Ash,
    Digby, Canada
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    2014 November 21 Tiffany, Lalique & Art Glass Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,441,296
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 17 American Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $6,712,638
    2014 November 14 American Indian Art , Pre-Columbian, & Tribal Art Signature Auction
    2014 Nov 14 American Indian Art, Pre-Columbian & Tribal Art Auction
    REALIZED $441,524
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    2014 November 8 Modern & Contemporary Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $5,683,719
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    2014 November 6 Silver & Vertu Signature Auction
    REALIZED $439,980
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    2014 October 18 The Belo Collection of Texas Art Signature Auction
    REALIZED $624,835
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    2014 October 16 Photographs Signature Auction
    REALIZED $824,108
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    2014 September 28 Nature & Science Signature Auction
    REALIZED $1,089,341
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    2014 Sept 13-14 Gentleman Collector Signature Estate Auction
    REALIZED $1,725,292
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 April 23 Illustration Art Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $2,477,033