Albert Bierstadt was a German-American painter best known for his plentiful landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. He was the leading painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century. He became part of the Hudson River School in New York, an informal group of painters who started painting along this scenic river. Their style was based on carefully detailed paintings with romantic, almost glowing lighting, sometimes called “luminism”. An important interpreter of the western landscape, Bierstadt, along with Thomas Moran, is also grouped with the Rocky Mountain School.
Bierstadt's technical skill, earned through his study of European landscape, was crucial to his success as a painter of the American West. His exhibition pieces were brilliantly crafted images that glorified the American West as a land of promise. Bierstadt was a prolific artist, having completed over 500 paintings during his lifetime.