Born near Dusseldorf, Germany, Bierstadt immigrated with his family to New Bedford, Massachusetts, 1832. He studied in Dusseldorf between 1853 and 1856. In 1857, Bierstadt traveled through the Alps with American artists, Worthington Whittredge and Sanford Robinson Gifford. Bierstadt was interested in the Romantic possibilities of mountain scenery. He became part of the Hudson River School of painters in New York, an informal group of like-minded artists who started painting along this river.In 1863 he traveled to Yosemite Valley, desiring to capture a place of almost supernatural wonder, rearranging and exaggerating outstanding features in his artwork that led him to become infamous for his large, detailed landscapes. By mid-1870s, Bierstadt was the most popular western landscape painter in America, enjoying international fame and completing more than 500 paintings during his lifetime.
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