I am in the throes of packing for a mini vacation with the Spouse to San Francisco ; my thoughts are turning to Bierstadt, glowing sunsets, imperial forests, delicate depictions of flora and fauna. This trip to northern California will be my maiden voyage, I have long griped of this arid City of Angels, I have heard time and again that San Francisco will reveal a gentler, more poetic California. I hope so.
Albert Bierstadt certainly saw it that way.
That said, I thought it fitting to send my readers a few pre-holiday postcards depicting his vision of Western Arcadia.
As I mentioned, I miss the gentle landscape of my youth, LA may have its charms; but tender fern, downy moss and squiggly salamanders are not to be found in this unforgiving place.
Bierstadt, although most famous for his luminous depictions of our West, ultimately moved to Nassau to accommodate the ill health of his wife Rosalie. His depictions of tropical beauty are as seductive as his redwoods.
I particularly like his detailed studies, this ewe is a great example, the rich tangled coat a visual delight.
Northern California may have changed a bit since Bierstadt first captured its golden beauty, but his depictions have been seared into my imagination. It may be a case of the idealized beauty being more significant then the actual; but from my research, San Francisco seems well deserving of its reputation.
b. January 7 1830
d.February 18 1902
Mr. Bierstadt, thank you for your luminous vision.
Until my return, wishing you well,