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Albert Bierstadt
(1830-1902)
View Artwork by Albert Bierstadt

Albert Bierstadt was born in Germany in 1830 and brought to the United States as a child in 1831. He returned to Germany in 1853 to study painting at the Dusseldorf Art Academy. Bierstadt returned to the United States in 1858.

Bierstadt was a very successful landscape painter i the period of 1850 to 1870. He did huge pictures that sold for $30,000.00 and up at that time; however, about 1892 the critics felt that is pictures were too large and the geography plus the perspectives were not correct. It's interesting to note that a few of his canvases were of actual wall size which did not lend themselves to hanging very well.

When he died in 1902, there were 1200 paintings in his estate and they were sold for a total of $10,000.00!! His works were said to be "worthless". To relieve some of their embarrassment, some galleries and museums hid Bierstadt's paintings in the basement, hoping to never see these pieces again. Late in 1940, the largest painting was owned by the National Gallery of Art and was burned by the gallery because of its size and the space it was consuming.

The critics then became aware of the power, immensity and spaciousness of Bierstadt's works in the 1950's. Whatever "faults" the paintings had were of no consequence and overnight the pieces became worth, literally millions.

The painting of Estes Park is interesting in that Bierstadt was guest of Lord Dunraven's, helping him select a home site along Fall River Road. This site inspired Bierstadt. He had the panorama of Longs Peak, Mt. Meeker, Twin Sister and more. The lower part of this scene would be where the golf course and the high school are now located

Photo Above: Estes Park

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