The Oregon Trail is a painting made in 1869 by Albert Bierstadt. It shows a sunset landscape of the Oregon Trail which connected the East and the West of the United States of America. In this scene, there’s a line of people heading to the new lands of the West. Some are walking; others are riding horses. They are accompanied by a wagon, cattle and other small animals such as calves, pigs, and sheep.
This depiction is a reinterpretation of a painting Bierstadt did in 1867 called Emigrants Crossing the Plains. It is very likely that the first painting was sold and Bierstadt repainted the same subject in a very similar way for commercial reasons. He was terrific in promoting his works and knew that his strong point was in the renderings of the American West.
As Bierstadt went on the expeditions to the West, he took with him his materials, so that he could paint quick studies of what he saw. Later he transferred this sketches onto big canvases which were later sold for impressive amounts of money. He was the first artist to render such places in paintings of this magnitude, and he did it with much technique.
Bierstadt’s works are considered nationalists, for they show the United States of America as a paradisiac place. Because of that, they were encouraging American citizens to try anew in the West, which was interesting for the unification of the country.
In this specific work, The Oregon Trail, we can see how this scene could promote the emigration to the West. The sunset gives the scenery a mesmerizing look. The direction the people are walking is towards the sun. They could have been portraited against the light, which would give the painting an atmosphere of tiredness and effort as the shapes of the people would be dark against the source of light. However, Bierstadt knew what he was doing: depicting the journeys to the West as a journey towards something enlightened. He was presenting the idea that a better life awaited the emigrants.
The balance in the picture is given by the two strong vertical elements of the mountains on the right side of the depiction and the forest on the left, and the horizontal trail. In the end, the result is a horizontal composition.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of The Oregon Trail, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of The Oregon Trail 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.
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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.