Favorite Albert Bierstadt painting?

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Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Jun 21, 2007 - 02:40am PT
What is yours? Who is Al? he was a german-american painter who lived from 1830 to 1902. He painted landscapes, and many of places familiar to modern day climbers... Yosemite being one such place. Two favorite are:

Conway Meadows (New Hampshire)


a painting of Whitehorse and Cathedral ledges...

(here titled Moat Mountain, Intervale, New Hampshire, ca. 1862)

and

Cathedral Rocks, Yosemite Valley, California 1872


While it costs... the Haggin Museum in Stockton has a number of Bierstadt's hanging, a nice trip when you find yourself in Stockton (http://www.hagginmuseum.org/);
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2007 - 02:53am PT
known as "Hudson Valley School" or more recently refered to as "American Sublime" landscape painting in the US 1820-1880...

thanks locker....
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2007 - 03:13am PT
here is a sketch he made of the Lower Brother...


Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 21, 2007 - 03:18am PT
I need to get up in close view of those beauties!
-Thanks Ed.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 21, 2007 - 03:31am PT
locker.... Tom Killion?

mooser

Trad climber
seattle
Jun 21, 2007 - 08:52am PT
Bierstadt has always been one of my favorites, though I can't specify one in particular as my all-time fav. Thanks for posting, Ed.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 21, 2007 - 09:36am PT
Not just Bierstadt but others in the "luminist" school made some lovely paintings of landscapes as they feel when you look at them, which is more than a camera records. Black-and-white photography brought an end to such landscapes but I think maybe lately Velvia and then Photoshop have brought some elements back.

One of my favorites is "The Icebergs" by Frederic Church. (Worth the width here? If not, I'll scale it down.)

pud

climber
Sportbikeville
Jun 21, 2007 - 10:21am PT

I prefer modern art.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Jun 21, 2007 - 11:30am PT
It sure ain't impressionism. In Bierstadt's Looking Up Yosemite Valley I can pick out features of routes that wouldn't yet be climbed for more than a hundred years.

Still, he did take liberties. What was the one where he used a little bit of the Tetons combined with Yosemite?
My parole officer in Provo had a copy behind his desk and the first time I went to see him I commented about how Bierstadt had sort of fused Wyoming and California and this poor guy didn't know whether to sh#t or go blind.
Here is this guy who is supposed to supervise dozens of felons and the phucking park service is wasting his time with an out of bounds camper who's mother is a guide at the Metropolitan Museum.


Yeah, American Sublime.
How about Sanford R. Gifford's Catskill Mountain House? Or also from 145 years ago Martin Johnson Heade's Lake George? (Although I prefer his shoreline stuff like Approaching Storm: Beach Near Newport or Thunderstorm Over Narragansett Bay.)

For me the Hudson Valley School is Hackley, the place which after five years wouldn't let me back as a senior just because of a little climb I did the night before the Vice President came.
Funny how they still hit me up for donations though!


Chiloe, you like Frederic Church? Have you seen (also from 1862) Cotopaxi?
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 21, 2007 - 11:40am PT
Yeah, Cotopaxi is a fine one. He painted several of that mountain, did he not?

L

climber
A small kayak on a very big ocean
Jun 21, 2007 - 12:21pm PT
Chiloe,

The Icebergs is worth the width--thank you for posting it and please leave it that size.

I love the work of the Luminists, and Fredric Church in particular. Amazing translation of emotion engendered by the beauty of nature.

Thanks to all for posting these beautiful works.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jun 21, 2007 - 12:24pm PT
ya, ya, what L said...
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 23, 2007 - 11:04am PT
L:
The Icebergs is worth the width--thank you for posting it and please leave it that size.

Life imitates art ... this thread inspired me to scan a few slides I took a couple of years back.
I had a digital camera with me at the time too, but its colors weren't as rich as the film.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2007 - 12:04am PT
Ron, I do love them all, but also Catskill Mountain House... I think it is because the features haven't changed that much, but the places have...

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2007 - 12:33am PT
John Fredrick Kensett, Eaton's Neck, Long Island 1872


of course, it has a Coast Guard Station on it now...

here is Rocky Point, Long Island (1998 or so)

WBraun

climber
Jun 24, 2007 - 12:45am PT
Albert Bierstadt has got to be realistic painting.

Man he's good. You can make out the Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral in his painting up thread.

That Conway Meadows painting is so life like.

He's awesome .......
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 24, 2007 - 09:46am PT
I hadn't seen Church's Jerusalem, that is a good one.
Chiloe

Trad climber
Lee, NH
Jun 24, 2007 - 10:02am PT
WBraun:
Man he's good. You can make out the Northeast Buttress of Higher Cathedral in his painting up thread.
That Conway Meadows painting is so life like


You can make out routes in the Conway painting too, including the Recompense corner Tarbuster laybacks up in that other thread.

I walked through an exhibit with Bierstadt's work in LA once and learned something interesting: the realism in his later paintings reflected the influence of photography. His ealier stuff is more fanciful and exaggerated apparently because that's how painters actually saw the mountains. But after he saw the very different images that cameras captured from the same viewpoints, Bierstadt's own style consciously changed.
Gunks Guy

Trad climber
Rhinebeck, NY
Jun 24, 2007 - 10:38am PT
This is one of my favorites, but I love many of his paintings. I had a framed copy of this hanging in my apartment for years.

Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 24, 2007 - 12:38pm PT
I have been trying for the last few years to get a picture of the Cathedral Rocks in the winter time that would "match" the Bierstadt painting... many things conspire against it, mostly the fact that the trees have grown thick in the Valley and block the views, but also my slow realization that painters have complete control of what is in their composition... and photographers do not (they do have some control).

However, it is not the point to simply "reproduce" the painting, but to get the feeling of the image in a different media. I find the exercise to be a good one for learning how to take a thought and depict it.

Beirstadt (and other) painters of the day were conveying contemporary thoughts about the wilderness. What I find interesting is being completely at ease in places they felt "sublime." It is the third sense from Miriam-Webster: "tending to inspire awe usually because of elevated quality (as of beauty, nobility, or grandeur) or transcendent excellence," the feeling taken away by too much familiarity.

Trying to "see" the Valley like Bierstadt saw it keeps my perspective focused on its transcendent excellence.
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