30 Beautiful Paintings of the American West by Albert Bierstadt

German-born American artist Albert Bierstadt (1830 – 1902) was best known for his paintings of the American West.

A member of the mid 19th-century American art movement known as the Hudson River School, he focused on romantic landscapes.

Traveling westward with land surveyors and authors, he captured sketches to develop into large-scale paintings back at his New York studio.

In the 1860’s he became a member of the much-vaunted National Academy—an honorary association of American artists. He received medals as he traveled extensively in Europe and even had a private reception with Queen Victoria.

Demand for his work was so high that by 1865 his paintings were fetching $10,000 – $25,000 (worth approx $280,000 – $700,000 today)

When in 1872, his drawings of Yellowstone convinced Congress to pass the Yellowstone Park Bill, he was firmly established as the preeminent painter of the American West.

Bierstadt used light to glorify the romance of sweeping landscapes, depicting the untamed West as a land full of promise, of Manifest Destiny, and the American Dream.

Lake in the Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, 1867
Lake in the Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, 1867
Looking Up the Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt, 1867
Looking Up the Yosemite Valley by Albert Bierstadt, 1867
Merced River, California by , (1830 - 1902)
Merced River, California by , (1830 – 1902)
Old Faithful by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 - 1902)
Old Faithful by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 – 1902)
Oregon Trail by Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902)
Oregon Trail by Albert Bierstadt (1830 – 1902)
Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast by Albert Bierstadt, 1870
Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast by Albert Bierstadt, 1870
Rocky Mountain Landscape by Albert Bierstadt, 1870
Rocky Mountain Landscape by Albert Bierstadt, 1870
Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, 1873
Sierra Nevada by Albert Bierstadt, 1873
Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rosalie by Albert Bierstadt - 1866
Storm in the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rosalie by Albert Bierstadt – 1866
Sunset over the River by Albert Bierstadt , (1830 - 1902)
Sunset over the River by Albert Bierstadt , (1830 – 1902)
The Campfire by Albert Bierstadt , (1830 - 1902)
The Campfire by Albert Bierstadt , (1830 – 1902)
The Falls of St. Anthony by Albert Bierstadt c.1887
The Falls of St. Anthony by Albert Bierstadt c.1887
The Golden Gate by Albert Bierstadt, 1900
The Golden Gate by Albert Bierstadt, 1900
The Kern River Valley (Sequoia National Park, California) by Albert Bierstadt, 1871
The Kern River Valley (Sequoia National Park, California) by Albert Bierstadt, 1871
The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak by Albert Bierstadt, 1863
The Rocky Mountains, Lander’s Peak by Albert Bierstadt, 1863
Valley in Kings Canyon by Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902)
Valley in Kings Canyon by Albert Bierstadt (1830 – 1902)
Valley of the Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt, 1864
Valley of the Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt, 1864
Western Landscape by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 - 1902)
Western Landscape by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 – 1902)
Whyte's Lake, Estes Park, Colorado by Albert Bierstadt, 1877
Whyte’s Lake, Estes Park, Colorado by Albert Bierstadt, 1877
Yellowstone Falls by Albert Bierstadt, 1881
Yellowstone Falls by Albert Bierstadt, 1881
Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California by Albert Bierstadt, 1868
Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California by Albert Bierstadt, 1868
California Coast by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 - 1902)
California Coast by Albert Bierstadt, (1830 – 1902)
California Spring by Albert Bierstadt, 1875
California Spring by Albert Bierstadt, 1875
Cho-looke, the Yosemite Fall by Albert Bierstadt, 1864
Cho-looke, the Yosemite Fall by Albert Bierstadt, 1864
Emigrants Crossing the Plains by Albert Bierstadt, 1869
Emigrants Crossing the Plains by Albert Bierstadt, 1869
Estes Park, Colorado by Albert Bierstadt, 1869
Estes Park, Colorado by Albert Bierstadt, 1869
Gates of Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt c.1882
Gates of Yosemite by Albert Bierstadt c.1882
Geysers in Yellowstone by Albert Bierstadt, 1881
Geysers in Yellowstone by Albert Bierstadt, 1881
Indian Canoe by Albert Bierstadt, 1886
Indian Canoe by Albert Bierstadt, 1886
Indians spear fishing by Albert Bierstadt, 1862
Indians spear fishing by Albert Bierstadt, 1862

Contains affiliate links

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I may receive an affiliate commission. I only recommend products or services that I believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Read more:
Castles of England and Wales as Victorians Saw Them

Neuschwanstein—Castle of Dreams

18 Victorian Seaside Pleasure Piers

Close