{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Albert Bierstadt in Yosemite


Sunset in the Yosemite Valley (c. 1868).

After yesterday’s photos of the Yosemite Valley I have to follow up with paintings of the region by Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902), a German immigrant whose landscape art is connected to the Hudson River School although much of his work concerned views of California and the Rocky Mountains. Some of the paintings apparently received criticism for their deliberately Romantic approach to landscape, especially the John Martin-like blazing sunsets. All the pictures here date from the same period that Carelton Watkins was taking his celebrated photos of the area (which makes me wonder whether artist and photographer ever met) so complaints about lack of realism would seem somewhat redundant.

Wikimedia Commons has a substantial collection of Bierstadt’s paintings.


Looking Down Yosemite Valley, California (1865).


The Domes of the Yosemite (1867).


Cathedral Rocks, A Yosemite View (1872).

Previously on { feuilleton }
Carleton Watkins in Yosemite
Two American paintings



Posted in {art}, {painting}.

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5 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Thombeau


    It seems that in 1862, Bierstadt first saw Carleton’s photos, which inspired him to head out west. About a decade later, Carleton worked with Bierstadt’s brother Edward, also a photographer, and ended up reproducing sketches by Albert. So I’ll wager that their paths crossed at least once. They definitely were kindred spirits of a sort.

  2. #2 posted by John


    Oh, fascinating, thanks! No surprise that he’d want to head out West after seeing those photos.

  3. #3 posted by Axel


    Bierstadt seems to be more popular in the USA than in Germany (which is related to his works easily comprehensible).
    In Germany he is associated with the „Düsseldorfer Malerschule“ (Düsseldorf School Of Painting).
    This month expires a great exhibition in Düsseldorf that deals with the international aspects of this school and focuses on the German-American Painters, Bierstadt is also mentioned there.


  4. #4 posted by Nick Hydra


    Reminds me of John Martin…

  5. #5 posted by Hecubot


    Looking at that Cathedral Rocks painting, I can’t help but think of Jay Defeo’s painting “The Rose” which has the same rock strata feel, and the similar intense white/gray center.







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