"ROCK AND FOREST STUDY"
Signed 'Albert Bierstadt' bottom right, oil on paper laid down to canvas
13 x 19 in. (33 x 48.3cm)
Spanierman Gallery LLC., New York, New York.
Collection of Dorrance H. Hamilton.
Born in 1830 in Solingen, Germany, Albert Bierstadt moved to the United States with his family at an early age, settling in Massachusetts. He returned to his homeland in 1853 and studied in Düsseldorf, learning to paint the Alpine mountains and landscape. Upon his return to the United States, he traveled to the West, photographing and sketching the mountains and rock formations, making countless studies for the massive paintings he would create later in his New York studio. Bierstadt had a longstanding affinity for mountains, which were the favored subject of his works. The artist's romanticized and rugged landscapes of the West, carefully painted in large scale with painstaking detail and spectacular lighting, were very popular amongst collectors, and his paintings garnered record prices, allowing Bierstadt to enjoy marvelous success and respect in his lifetime. A prolific artist, he completed over five hundred paintings thoughout his career.
The present work is a striking jewel of a study, set in the woods in a little clearing surrounded by evergreens. The work gives an impression of a cozy enclave, the warm tones of the grass, rocks and moss dappled by dusky light and shadow. While he is best known for his grand works, this painting has all the detail and quintessential characteristics of Bierstadt's style, on a smaller scale.
Sold for $31,250 (buyer's premium included)