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Albert Bierstadt (American, 1830–1902), El Capitan, Yosemite Valley, California, oil on canvas, 1875. 32 3/16 in. x 48 1/8 in. Gallery 29B
In the 19th century, the wonders of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains (“America’s Alps”) and the Sierra Nevadas in California were largely known to Americans in the East only through travelers’ accounts and paintings by intrepid artists. Though not the first artist to paint these mountains, Bierstadt’s majestic paintings spurred tourism to the West and helped spark the movement to preserve national lands. Bierstadt’s views of the monumental cliff face of El Capitan helped make this the most recognized site in the Yosemite Valley.
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