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Albert Bierstadt : “The Merced River in Yosemite” (1868)

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Located in the Yosemite Valley of central California, the Merced River was one of the many destinations on the westward journeys of painter Albert Bierstadt. Bierstadt’s second journey west took place in 1863 during which time he spent seven weeks in the Yosemite Valley. This landscape reflects Bierstadt’s membership in the Hudson River School, a group of painters known for their romanticized and highly detailed landscapes full of dramatic lighting. The Merced River in Yosemite exhibits these attributes in the brilliant and almost otherworldly light shining from the hill, offering just enough to illuminate the details of the trees and campsite in the foreground. Although born in Germany, Albert Bierstadt spent much of his life in America and is regarded as one of the most honored and accomplished American artists from the 19th century.

Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Art (CC BY 3.0).

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