The painting itself can now be found within the collection of the The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, an impressive institution itself which now hosts several other artworks from Bierstadt's career. The artwork is 123cm wide, by 76cm tall, making it relatively small by this artist's standards. He would sometimes produce smaller pieces such as this and then duplicate them on a larger scale, for the compositions which he most liked. In this case, we do not believe that there were any other versions of this piece, and it is still certainly large enough to be able to really appreciate the detail added across the composition. We find a fairly green environment, with rolling hills which lead down to a lighter landscape in the far distance. The overall piece is calm and charming, brighter than some he produced.
Where are the Wind River Mountains?
The Wind River Range can be found in western Wyoming and has been a popular destination for many photographers and painters over the past few centuries. There were many Native Indian encampments here which would also interest artists, though these would slowly disappear over time, leaving us with only the art to remember how things used to be before. The Wind River Mountains sit alongside large forestry within a rich and exciting environment that continues to be firmly protected today to allow future generations to continue to enjoy its beauty. The paintings of Albert Bierstadt would help to draw people's attention to locations such as this, at a time when much of the country was still left to be fully documented. Thankfully, Bierstadt himself was keen to protect such locations, way before it became a mainstream pursuit.
Bierstadt produced many important landscape paintings across his career but was not the only significant American painter during the 19th century, far from it. Even just within this genre alone, there were many other notable painters who also addressed the stunning countryside of the US, as well as other locations further afield. One of those was Frederic Edwin Church who gave us the likes of The Heart of the Andes, Our Banner in the Sky and A Country Home as part of a similar large and varied oeuvre in which he tried to tackle the landscape genre from all manner of different stylistic angles. The two helped to form the Hudson River School which remains one of the earliest and most significant homegrown US art movements, with many other ones then following on in the centuries that followed.