The Buffalo Trail Albert Bierstadt Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Albert Bierstadt had an eye for art. He was an observant artist who paid keen attention to detail. During one of his two trips to the Western USA, he came across the American buffalo, which mesmerized him uniquely. The buffalo is also known as the bison by some westerners.

The bison dominated the grasslands of Mississippi as it is a herbivore. But, further, it was a glorious animal that roamed from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains. In his painting, The Buffalo Trail, Albert intends to capture the seasonal migration of the beasts, which mainly happened between the salt licks and the feeding grounds of the buffalos. The painting came into existence in 1863 after his second trip to the Western.

During this time, the Bisons faced a significant risk of extinction which was occasioned by excessive hunting. Interestingly, Albert hunted a couple of the beasts on his first trip to that section of the country. They were mainly hunted down for their hides and skins, which were then shipped to Eastern USA. On his second trip, Albert paid special attention to sketching the beautiful beasts and holding them on display for the world to see.

Albert was compelled only to draw a solitary animal during his initial sketches but decided to draw something different after some time. He drew an entire herd of the buffaloes against a reflection coming from the stream. The sun also seems to shine through the clouds and emit some golden light as a result. The painting was assigned a date in 1867 as its year of completion. During this time, Albert and his wife sailed away into Britain for a trip that lasted two years. Further, the painting is cast on canvas and used oil, which was a common painting technique.


The Buffalo Trail painting by Albert Bierstadt is on display in the Museum of Fine Arts which is stationed in Boston, Massachusetts. It is a great museum that was established in 1870 for the preservation of history and heritage.


The theme of the painting is a calm one. The picture only displays a herd of buffaloes that are walking down a stream in the sunset. It is a great painting to hang over a living room, study area, or any other blank wall around your home. As much as the painter, Albert, died in 1902, his work still lives on. He has painted a lot of paintings that are on display in museums worldwide. Therefore, visit the Museum of Fine Arts today if you are in the mood to experience some of his work or order one online.