Mount Corcoran 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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Mount Corcoran is a landscape painting by Albert Bierstadt that was completed in 1867. It depicts the mountain named after the actor and politician William Henry Corcoran. Albert Bierstadt was an American painter during the 19th century known for his paintings of scenery and nature within America and Europe.

Mount Corcoran is a mountain named after William Henry Corcoran, an American banker and philanthropist. The mountain was depicted in the backdrop of Lake George. Previously known as Lake of the Holy Cross, Lake George was renamed to its current name because it was shaped like a cross. The painting depicts an early morning view of the mountain named after William Henry Corcoran, with its surrounding area being covered in mist. The lake directly behind the mountain's base has already gained transparency due to the sun rising but is still surrounded by areas of thick fog and can be seen as perfectly reflecting the mountaintop.

From another view, the dramatic landscape depicts a view of the mountain Corcoran from the west on a summer afternoon. A stream can be seen flowing through the foreground and disappearing into a distant canyon. The mountain has many trees, some of which are beginning to change colours as autumn approaches. Near the lake is a black animal that seemingly wants to quench its thirst from the lake. There is a brilliant blue sky with puffy white clouds above and hazy green hills in the background. Albert loved painting nature and details. He showed how actual the painting was by incorporating everything that viewers could see from the physical environment. It shows the beauty of nature.

The key features of this painting would be its realism, focus on nature, and detail. The mountain depicted in this painting is accurate to what one would expect from a landscape at that time. Bierstadt's use of colour enhances the already incredibly detailed foreground of the painting, which includes pine trees and other natural flora. This painting was incredibly influential during its time, with it being displayed at the National Academy of Design's annual exhibition in 1867. It is also an example of Bierstadt's work surrounding nature and scenery. This would later influence people such as Albert Pinkham Ryder, who was a painter during the 1890s.

Today, the artist is still celebrated for his realistic artwork and paintings. He has inspired many other artists in America and beyond. Bierstadt's Mount Corcoran is currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and attracts thousands of tourists every year.