December 1954 | Volume 6, Issue 1
Trained in the Düsseldorf school of dramatic, grandiose art, Albert Bierstadt devoted his life to painting the massive beauty of the Western landscape. He roamed the Rocky Mountain country in the 1850’s and 1860’s, painting the Indians, the buffalo, the wagon trains and, towering above all else, his beloved mountains. Bierstadt’s grandiloquent canvases left Eastern critics cold, but they brought him the acclaim of the people and the highest prices (up to $35,000) that had ever been paid to an American painter. When he painted his “Last of the Buffalo,” vast herds of bison still roamed the Plains, but within a few years they had been wiped out, not by the Indians’ spears but by the guns of white hunters.