Albert Bierstadt’s 1864 canvas Valley of the Yosemite is an imagined reproduction of a frontier landscape painted by an artist whose spiritual visions consolidated the United States' place in the global mindset as the preeminent land of hope, and the destination for countless refugees. Bierstadt himself was an immigrant of German origin who quickly established himself as a self-made careerist through his own shameless self-promotion. Noted for his large-scale works, his choice of subject was informed by a number of journeys the artist took alongside those of the American Western Expansion. In many ways Bierstadt's canvases are the painterly embodiment of the nineteenth-century notion of manifest destiny, the belief in the God-given right to the land of the American pioneers. As clear manifestations of this type of rhetoric, Bierstadt's works remain curiously contrasting visions, resonating with technical precision, European Romanticism, and expansionist nationalism. The artist made his first journey to the American West in 1859, producing a series of paintings that proved to be immensely popular with East Coast audiences. Spurred on by sales, commissions, and populist acclaim, Bierstadt returned to California during the Civil War, finally reaching the area after an arduous journey.
Educated in Germany, Bierstadt was an immigrant to the United States, finding great success through his technical talents, natural showmanship and entrepreneurial qualities. Valley of the Yosemite is a reproduction of a feeling, rather than a view. This imagined landscape is suffused with the pride, hope, and nationalist fervour of its expansionist author. Like many of his works, Valley of the Yosemite is a huge work, towering down on the audience in the same way that Bierstadt himself was awed by the natural beauty of the area. A true painter of spectacle and bombast, his works appear more like cinematic vistas than reproductions from life. Yet these works are expressions of the idealism and promise that, in the late nineteenth century, would bring streams of individuals to the United States hoping to share in the newly discovered, and apparently empty, lands which Bierstadt depicted.
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Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Valley of the Yosemite 1864, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Valley of the Yosemite 1864 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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