German-born American painter of landscapes particularly the American West. Born in Solingen, Germany, Albert Bierstadt was raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts. He studied (1853- 57) oil painting in Dusseldorf, Germany, and Rome and thereafter worked chiefly in New York City. His vast, majestic, studio panoramas of the Rocky Mountains, more realistic than the landscapes of the earlier Hudson River School, were based on sketches from nature. Many were the result of his trip to the West with a surveying team in 1859. His artworks, popular in their day and now the subject of revived interest, include Rocky Mountains (1863) and Merced River, Yosemite Valley (1866), both in the Metropolitan Museum, New York City. He is now regarded as a major figure in the Luminist movement in American painting.
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