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Mount Baker, Washington

Mount Baker, Washington
signed with conjoined initials 'ABierstadt' (lower left)
oil on paper laid down on canvas
14 x 19 in. (35.6 x 48.3 cm.)
Painted circa 1890.
Clapp & Graham, New York, 25 April 1931, lot 1011.
John Calvin Willever, Millburn, New Jersey.
Florence Willever Carnes, daughter of the above, by gift.
Elizabeth Lawrence, niece of the above, and Philip Signor Lawrence, Bethesda, Maryland, by descent, 1965.
By descent to the present owner.
Further details
We would like to thank Melissa Webster Speidel, President of the Bierstadt Foundation and Director of the Albert Bierstadt catalogue raisonné project, for her assistance in the cataloguing of this lot. This work is included in the database being compiled for her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist's work.

Brought to you by

Tylee Abbott
Tylee Abbott Vice President, Head of American Art

Lot Essay

Albert Bierstadt travelled West in the fall of 1890 to make oil sketches in preparation for a painting for the art patron Sir George Stephen, founder of the Canadian Pacific Railway (location unknown). Before deciding upon the subject of the work, Bierstadt received a letter from the art director of the Railway, William Cornelius Van Horne, who urged the artist to consider Mount Baker in the Northern Cascades as his subject, for he believed that it was “the finest natural composition” he had ever seen. Bierstadt complied with Van Horne’s suggestion and traveled northwest through Montreal, with his accommodations provided by the art director himself. Bierstadt observed Mount Baker in November 1890—making field sketches that were subsequently used to guide the completion of his commission.

Upon his arrival to the artist’s studio on January 27th, 1891, Sir George Stephen viewed a finished painting that was shipped to him the following month. Bierstadt’s sublime depiction of Mount Baker aligns with the character of his many panoramic portrayals of the West. The present work is one of a few depictions of Mount Baker created during this trip, another of which is in the collection of the Brooklyn Museum in New York.

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