BIERSTADT, Albert (1830-1902), American painter of grandiose
scenes of the American West, including landscapes, animals and Indians. Born in Solingen, Germany, Bierstadt was raised in New Bedford, Mass. He studied (1853-57) painting in Dusseldorf,
Germany, and Rome and thereafter worked chiefly in New York City. He joined the expedition of Colonel F. W. Landers to survey an overland wagon route to the Far West in 1858. 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. Exhibited his first Western panorama in the year 1860.
Was made a National Academician. Became the highest paid American painter. Continued to travel in America and Europe. Died
almost forgotten. His works, 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.