BIERSTADT, Albert (1830-1902), German-born American painter best known for his lavish, sweeping landscapes of the American West. To paint the scenes, Bierstadt joined several journeys of the Westward Expansion. Though not the first artist to record these sites, Bierstadt was the foremost painter of these scenes for the remainder of the 19th century.
In 1872-1873 Bierstadt painted a suite of paintings of the Farallon Islands outside San Francisco's Golden Gate.
Bierstadt arrived on South Farallon Island on April 29, 1872 aboard the Wayanda, with Professor Wilkinson. They stayed on the island until May 1, 1872, departing on the same vessel [1872 Farallon logbook of lighthouse keeper Joseph Macomber, National Archives].
Bierstadt spent three days executing numerous on-the-spot oil sketches of the scenery. Bierstadt took his studies back to his studio and used them as inspiration to produce grandly-scaled oil paintings of Farallon Islands scenes from 1872-1887.
In the News~
April 12, 1973 [Arkansas Democrat]: “"Farallon Island," painted by Albert Bierstadt in 1887, sold for $110,000. Bierstadt had sold previously for a high of $22,000. Anonymous buyers were the high bidders in each instance.”