Eye Candy for Today: Bierstadt’s Mountain Brook

Mountain Brook, Albert Bierstadt

Mountain Brook, Albert Bierstadt (details)

Mountain Brook, Albert Bierstadt

Oil on canvas, roughly 44 x 36 in (12 x 92 cm), in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago, whose site includes both a zoomable and downloadable version of the high-res image.

German-American painter Albert Bierstadt, who is associated with both the Hudson River and Rocky Mountain schools of painting, is known primarily for his grand and dramatic vistas of mountains and related landscape, but I find fascination in his more intimate subjects.

In this one — likely an invented scene culled from his trips through the White Mountains in New England — he gives us a tranquil scene of a mountain brook, but alive with a different kind of drama, one of light, shadow and texture.