Forest Monarchsc. After 1875 by
Bierstadt, Albert 1830-1902
Forest Monarchs follows a venerable Hudson River School tradition in its celebration of the American wilderness. Bierstadt departs from the common vertical format for such themes to enhance the spreading effect of oak trees. Their majesty can be measured against the alert stag and six does that help animate the scene.
Bierstadt gives poetry and depth to this landscape segment by alternating sunlight and shadow throughout. A beam of light pierces the leafy canopy to strike the rugged trunk of the stately tree in the foreground, pulling it forward from the darkness behind it. Through arching trunks and branches appear softly lit distances.
Typically in such later works, Bierstadt was not concerned with overly precise definition of flora and fauna. The deer follow common, simple formula. Thick dabs and strokes of yellow, orange, red, and green give the impression of a flowery meadow, while a similar handling of paint suggests the foliage above. His impasto technique creates a pleasing rough texture and spontaneity.
Size (inches): 32 3/8 x 48 1/4
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Location: Hull Gallery