Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Bierstadt, Albert

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BIERSTADT, Albert, painter, b. in Düsseldorf, Germany, 7 Jan., 1830. He was brought by his parents in 1831 to New Bedford, Mass., where he early developed a taste for art and made clever crayon sketches in his youth. In 1851 he began to paint in oils, and in 1853 went to Düsseldorf and studied four years in the academy there and in Rome, making sketching tours during the summers in Germany and Switzerland. Returning to the United States in 1857, he made an extended tour in the west, especially in Colorado and California, obtaining from this and other visits material for many of his more important pictures. He again visited Europe in 1867, in 1878, and in 1833. Mr. Bierstadt has received many honors. He was elected a member of the national academy in 1860, and has been awarded medals in Austria, Bavaria, Belgium, and Germany. In 1867 he was decorated with the cross of the legion of honor, and in 1869 with that of St. Stanislaus, of which he received also the second class in 1872. In 1882 his studio at Irvington, N. Y., was destroyed by fire, with many valuable pictures. Among his best-known works are: “Laramie Peak” (1861), now in the Buffalo academy of fine arts; “Lander's Peak in the Rocky Mountains” (1863), bought by James McHenry, of London, for $25,000; “North Fork of the Platte” (1864); “Looking down the Yosemite” (1865); “El Capitan on Merced River” (1866); “Storm on Mt. Rosalie” (1866); “Valley of the Yosemite” (1866), in the Lenox library; "Settlement of California" and “Discovery of Hudson River,” both in the Capitol at Washington; “Emerald Pool on Mt. Whitney” (1870); “In the Rocky Mountains” (1871); “Great Trees of California” (1874); “Valley of Kern River, California” (1875); “Mt. Whitney, Sierra Nevada” (1877); “Estes Park, Colorado,” “Mountain Lake,” and “Mount Corcoran, in Sierra Nevada” (1878), Corcoran gallery, Washington; “Geysers” (1883); “Storm on the Matterhorn,” and “View on Kern River” (1884); “Valley of Zermatt, Switzerland” (1885) : “On the Saco, New Hampshire,” and “California Oaks” (1886).