This landscape oil painting on canvas is often described as Storm Clouds due to the dark clouds that serve as its most prominent feature. Beyond this, it is a work that is characteristic of the natural imagery that Bierstadt was known for during his creative life. The artist's monograph can be seen in the painting's lower right-hand corner.
A Detailed Description of Albert Bierstadt's Painting Landscape 1902
Albert Bierstadt's Landscape 1902 is one of the artist's final oil paintings but is well within the scope of the work that he typically produced during his lifetime. It is easy to see why the painting is often referred to as Storm Clouds as the piece is dominated by a darkening sky that is hovering over a barren landscape.
As is characteristic with works by Albert Bierstadt, the use of light plays a prominent role in Landscape 1902 as it peers through the clouds. There are also several small areas of blue sky that are exposed and coming through the cloud cover. The clouds that go from dark to light are contrasted by the barren and non-descript landscape that lies beneath them.
It is the ground below that makes this piece somewhat unique within the scope of Bierstadt's body of work. The artist is known for many works that include vivid scenery. In Landscape 1902, there are few distinguishing features in the landscape other than a hint of a slight rise in elevation as the painting fades into the background. There is also some use of shading that helps to distinguish the left-hand side of the landscape.
In Landscape 1902, there is an overall impression of a coming storm that is rolling in and overtaking the more serene clouds that are already present. The painting gives the impression of a formerly blue sky filling up with dark and rain-filled clouds that will inevitably burst onto the barren landscape that lies below them. At the same time, there are still spots of light that continue to come through in contrast to the darkening of the sky effect that is used by the artist. This creative use of light as a contrast is a technique that Bierstadt was renowned for throughout his career.