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In the Mountains

Artist: Albert Bierstadt
Created: 1867
Dimensions (cm): 127.6 x 91.9
Format: Oil on canvas
Location: Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA

Albert Bierstadt, like many American painters in the 19th Century studied to become a painter in Europe. When he finished his studies there and returned to the United States he embarked on a pilgrimage in to the far wild west of America. What he discovered on his journey was a vast and unspoiled wilderness as yet untouched by modern civilization.

There was majesty and purity in the land which he tried and succeeded in conveying through his paintings as is demonstrated by, In the Mountains. One cannot help but be struck immediately by the power and beauty of this painting. One has the sense of being dwarfed by the huge mountains both in the foreground and in the background of the painting. Yet at the same time as feeling almost completely overwhelmed by this feeling one also has the sense of being completely engulfed in the beauty of the land. It is sometimes difficult to remember how big the world can feel. When you are traveling in the mountains you have the sense of the world swallowing you up.

This painting evokes that feeling in the viewer.

There is also a spiritual aura about the painting. Perhaps because there are no human figures in the picture one has the feeling that the land has never been touched by human hands. This gives one the sensation of timelessness when looking at the painting. One can not help but feel like bowing down one’s head in awe when viewing this splendid painting. The fact that a human hand could convey what no human hand could have created is in itself something of a miracle and demonstrates the true power of art.


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