Albert Bierstadt, a German born American painter, was part of the Hudson River school which favoured a romantic interpretation of landscape, often illuminated by rays of lambent light. Much of his work, like this picture, invoked scenes of the American west.
This iconic picture, Emigrants Crossing the Plains, one of his most popular, was painted as a direct result of studies that he made during land surveying trips made in the 1850s.
The image portrays the migration of pioneers into the West along the Oregon Trail. Taking place in the mid 19th century, this is one of the most stirring chapters of foundational American history, and is evoked in the famous phrase, 'Go West young man, and grow up with the country.'
Bierstadt was enraptured by the natural surroundings of the plains and especially the Rocky Mountains, which he compared in beauty to the Alps, and are here rendered as stately guardians, bathed in the glowing sunset, towering protectively over the wagon train.
Emigrants Crossing the Plains (1867, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, Oklahoma City) was finished by November 27, 1867 and went on exhibit in a San Francisco art gallery. It was sold a year later to Amasa Stone of Cleveland, Ohio.
36 x 24.5 inches
Lithographs are rolled and shipped in a quality shipping tube.