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Optional - receive your painting ready to hang. Note we are only able to ship framed paintings up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached, the framing option is automatically disabled. If ordered without a frame the painting will arrive rolled inside a protective tube with an extra 1.5" white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
Painted in 1871, Kern's River Valley, California, these three horses and two riders taking their ease in an awe-inspiring landscape is the kind of work that made Bierstadt one of the most celebrated painters of his time. One of the few artists to travel to the frontier, his visions of the West's majesty were some of the first glimpses into the pristine wilderness seen by an American public.
Influenced by JMW Turner, Thomas Cole brought to the U.S. a sense of the sublime, or fearsome nature, and established the Hudson River School of painters. Not really a school, but rather a group of like-minded artists, this movement's hallmarks were carefully painted details bathed in a romantic glowing light, usually on a theatrically large scale. Cole's student, Frederic Church, and Albert Bierstadt are “second generation” Hudson River School painters—learning from Cole, but moving away from the Eastern seaboard.
Albert Bierstadt grew up in the U.S. and returned to his native Germany to gain technical proficiency by working with students from the Dusseldorf art school—he had applied as a student himself but was not accepted. He returned to New York, exhibited a Swiss landscape he had painted while in Europe, to wide acclaim. Fellow artist Frederic Church traveled to the Arctic and the Andes; Bierstadt went West. He traveled with a government survey expedition to document the frontier and returned to New York with stacks of sketches. He produced many paintings based on those sketches, including the monumental six-feet-by-ten-feet Rocky Mountain, Lander's Peak. The painting was displayed in New York City's Metropolitan Fair in 1864, where paintings of this size were displayed as one-painting exhibitions, framed by heavy drapery and lit to impress. These single-picture pay-per-view traveling attractions drew thousands of visitors in cities across the U.S.
The scale of many of Bierstadt's works, including the three feet by almost six feet Kern's River Valley, were inspired by the vastness of the West. Bierstadt sets up the composition in Kern's River Valley with great restraint--a few tiny figures, trees reflected in the wide turquoise river against a background of “purple mountains majesty,” the peaks disappearing into a luminescent haze. The river occupies the lower third of the canvas, the river bank contrasting lavender mountains in a lush yellow-green. Trees frame the painting, the shadow of the tree closest the viewer and the receding forest create depth. The tiny figures, two horses with a rider, and another horse with a dismounted rider further off illustrate the shocking scale of the Western landscape. Bierstadt celebrates this grand scale again and again, for example in Valley of the Yosemite 1864 and Among The Sierra Nevada Mountains California.
The incredible beauty of this Sierra Nevada landscape arrests riders and viewers alike. Bierstadt depicts the river from a high vantage point, increasing the perception of the Sierra Nevada's rugged verticality, embraced by a delicate light. As it moves towards the foreground, the river, like the West Bierstadt set out to record, opens up.
The overall palette is restrained, vivid and contrasty, but totally in control. The yellow grasses and deep shadows of the foreground create a vignette around the quietly moving water, its glow spreading out from the center of the painting. Like the riders, it feels like the viewer has wandered into a spectacular and yet untouched cathedral of natural splendor.
Bierstadt traveled to the West to record an unexplored landscape. He emblazoned his vision of the frontier, including Yosemite, Yellowstone, and the Sierra Nevada, into the imaginations of those who would never travel east of the Mississippi. His virtuosic depiction of an overwhelming yet peaceful western wilderness creates a sense of discovery with every viewing.
Real Oil Paints, Real Brushes, Real Artists, Real Art. The Certificate of Authenticity which arrives with every painting provides an assurance and verifies the authenticity of the hand painted fine art reproduction you purchased. Each oil painting is created by hand using only the finest canvas and oil paints available.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Kern's River Valley, California, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Kern's River Valley, California that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.
Free shipping is included in the price of the painting. Once the painting is ready and dry enough to ship, we will roll it and ship it in a sturdy cardboard tube.
We always ship express via courier to ensure your order reaches you as soon as possible - normally within three business days. The total delivery time from the moment you place your order until the package is delivered to your door is normally between three to four weeks.
If, in the unlikely event you were dissatisfied with the painting after reviewing it in person, it can be returned for a full refund for up to 365 days after delivery.
When you receive the painting; you are free to return it for more revisions or else for a full refund minus our actual shipping cost -- which is, on average, $25 per painting.
1st Art Gallery provides a full warranty covering manufacturing and material defects for paintings purchased from our website. The warranty covers damage for normal use. Damage caused by incidents such as accidents or inappropriate use are not covered.
Depending on the degree of damage to the warranted painting, it will either be repaired or replaced. This warranty service is provided free of charge.
When purchasing a painting on its own, it will arrive rolled inside a secure tube with an extra 1.5" of white canvas on all sides so you can easily frame it in any local frame shop.
You may choose to purchase your painting framed, in which case, it will arrive "ready to hang". We offer more than 20 beautiful models, all hand finished and expertly assembled by our experienced framers.
Note that for safety reasons we can only frame up to a certain size. Once the maximum size is reached the framing option is automatically disabled.
If you are planning to frame your painting yourself,
use an existing frame, or frame it locally, you may choose to order your painting with a stretching service,
meaning that it will arrive mounted on wooden bars.
If you're considering not framing your painting at all, you may opt for a Gallery Wrap. The term Gallery Wrap refers to the way the canvas is stretched, which is by wrapping it around thick stretcher bars, about 1.5 inch thick, with the canvas being secured to the back rather than the sides of those bars.
All orders ship with UPS, FedEx or DHL and will arrive directly to your home or office. A tracking number will be emailed to you as soon as the order leaves our studio so you can track it online. All orders ship express and usually arrive within 4-5 days from the shipping date. Due to shipping restraints, many of our framed, stretched, and oversize paintings may take 6-21 days for arrival depending on the safest route determined by the postal service.