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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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This delightful seascape painting by Albert Bierstadt is believed to have been produced in 1859. It is known to have been exhibited at the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire, USA and may well be a part of their permanent collection.

The piece itself features some low rocks to the left hand side, on which some locals wander along a path. They look out to sea, from a similar angle to how we look out ourselves. A small rowing boat is being hauled onto the sand in the near foreground, by a single figure who leans over as he tries to secure the boat. The rocks to the left curl around leaving a small pool, in which perhaps some small creatures can flourish. The beach itself is a dark golden tone, somewhat impacted by the reduced lighting incorporated by the artist. Most of the sky is filled with thick cloud, though an opening to the left hand side allows Bierstadt to vary the tones across the different parts of this composition. He then touches the painting with dabs of white paint to bring out the edges of the waves which arrive on the beach one after another in a relatively calm manner.

Whilst capturing a scene in Newport here, the artist would travel outside of the US in order to tackle other environments during his career and found many positives in both. He took in Italy and Switzerland most memorably, and actually had strong German roots himself. That said, he will always remain most famous for his work in the American West, for which he is remembered for helping to remind many of its incredible beauty. Others would join him across the country and together they helped to develop a new art movement which became respected internationally. It was rare for the US to lead the way in this manner, but slowly the country would start to do the same in other areas of the art world, having previously lagged behind Europe for several centuries.

Elements of View Near Newport will perhaps remind some of the work of American painter, Winslow Homer. He regularly went out to sea himself, and captured the lives of Americans going about their daily working lives. He also worked from shore as Bierstadt would do here. Some of Homer's most famous paintings would include the likes of Breezing Up (A Fair Wind), The Herring Net and The Fog Warning. Those interested in the Currier Museum of Art will be able to find a number of other American artists on display here and they continue to expand their collection annually, through a combination of generous donations as well as the occasional private purchase.

View Near Newport in Detail Albert Bierstadt