Magnificent view of Lander's Peak in Wyoming by Edward Bierstadt, the original of which now resides in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
As noted on the New York Metropolitan Museum on line exhibition:
This painting is the major work that resulted from the artist's first trip to the West. In spring 1859, he accompanied a government survey expedition, headed by Colonel Frederick W. Lander, to the Nebraska Territory. By summer, the party had reached the Wind River Range of the Rocky Mountains in what is now Wyoming. Bierstadt dubbed the central mountain in the picture Lander's Peak following the colonel's death in the Civil War. This was one of a number of large works painted after Bierstadt's return from these travels. It was completed in 1863, exhibited to great acclaim, and purchased in 1865 for the then-astounding sum of $25,000 by James McHenry, an American living in London. Bierstadt later bought it back and gave or sold it to his brother Edward.
A link to the original painting, which measures 10 feet x 6 feet, can be found at www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art/07.123
This view was issued by Thomas McLean as a pair to Storm in the Rocky Mountains (Colorado). The work is noted for Bierstadt's striking delineation of the Shoshone Indian encampment and surrounding forest, with a middle distance featuring a reflective body of water and the idealized snow-capped peak in the background.
Albert Bierstadt (1830 - 1902) was a German-American painter best known for dramatic landscapes of the American West. In obtaining the subject matter for these works, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.
Bierstadt began making paintings in New England and upstate New York. In 1859, he traveled westward in the company of Frederick W. Lander, a land surveyor for the U.S. government, returning with sketches that would result in numerous finished paintings. In 1863 he returned west again, in the company of the author Fitz Hugh Ludlow, whose wife he would later marry. He continued to visit the American West throughout his career.
Though a tremendous commercial success, Bierstadt was not well regarded by critics of his day. His large canvases were viewed as an egotistical indulgence. The romanticism evident in his choices of subject and in his use of light was felt to be excessive by contemporary critics. His paintings emphasized atmospheric elements like fog, clouds and mist to accentuate and complement the feel of his work. Bierstadt sometimes changed details of the landscape to inspire awe. The colors he used are also not always true. He painted what he believed was the way things should be: water is ultramarine, vegetation is lush and green, etc.