Giant Redwood Trees of California Albert Bierstadt Buy Art Prints Now
from Amazon

* As an Amazon Associate, and partner with Google Adsense and Ezoic, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
Email: [email protected] / Phone: +44 7429 011000

This painting, titled Giant Redwood Trees of California, is believed to have been produced in the year 1874, by which time its creator, Albert Bierstadt, would have been in his forties and entirely established as an artist.

The original artwork is now believed to be within the collection of the Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, US and many of this artist's paintings can be found dispersed widely across the country in a number of regional museums such as this. He holds a great significance within American art, helping it to attain a level of respect on the international stage when previously it had always followed in the shadows of styles from Europe. That would now start to change thanks to homegrown movements such as The Hudson River School, of which he was a prominent contributor. Whilst not as famous as other works from his career, this Albert Bierstadt painting, titled Giant Redwood Trees of California, offers an important variation on the style with which we are most familiar. Rather than the wide expanses of land, here we see a personal enclosed environment in which he focuses on some trees in a dense forest, leading to just a few metres in front of himself.

In order to help the viewer to understand the sheer scale of these huge Redwood trees, the artist places several figures in the foreground who look pretty tiny in comparison. For those from an international audience, it might be hard to really imagine just how tall these trees are, without this frame of reference. We also see a small stream which trickled past too, in which one of these figures sits on a overhanging rock and fishes in peace. There is then an approximate row of trunks which leads towards the back of the painting and slowly the painting gets a little lighter, suggesting an opening at the back of the work through which this additional light can surge through. Due to the nature of these trees, the artist produced this painting in a vertical, portrait dimension when almost all of his other artworks would have been in the traditional landscape view, underlining how this composition was noticeably different to his norm.

The Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield, MA, US hosts an array of different items related to the local community and it remains a worthy venue for those living in or visiting that area. They are known to have other landscape paintings from around this same period within their permanent collection and so those interested in this artist should find other artworks to interest them here as well. There are also exhibitions from time to time which aim to refresh the display and ensure that locals continue to re-visit the museum on a regular basis. Giant Redwood Trees of California probably remains one of the most prominent items within their collection, because of its connection to the household name of Albert Bierstadt.