Albert Bierstadt: Lake Lucerne, Poster

About the Artist

Albert Bierstadt (1830–1902) is known for his remarkable large-scale American landscapes that offered a war-torn nation a golden image of their own Promised Land. Though not the first artist to see or even paint the Rockies, Bierstadt was the first who brought with him superior technical skills and considerable experience painting European Alpine peaks. For Americans eager to finally see the mountains a generation of travelers had described as "America's Alps," Bierstadt's credentials were near perfect. His western landscapes, so often described as distinctly American, were born of his experience abroad and frequently duplicate the composition of the first of his large-scale landscapes, Lake Lucerne.

Albert Bierstadt: Lake Lucerne, Poster

# 2903

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This poster is a reproduction of Albert Bierstadt's Lake Lucerne (1858).


Though best known for his panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains, Albert Bierstadt began his career as a painter of European landscapes. During a period of study abroad in Switzerland in 1856, Bierstadt completed the plein air sketches he would later use to compose Lake Lucerne, the most important painting of his early career. In the spring of 1858 the work caused a sensation at the annual exhibition at the National Academy of Design in New York. Bierstadt was hailed as a bright new star on the American art stage and was elected an honorary member of the Academy.


Bierstadt's painting offers a sweeping view of Lake Lucerne with the village of Brunnen in the middle distance and the Alpine peaks Ematten, Oberbauen, Uri-Rotstock and St. Gotthard in the distance. Though an image of mountain grandeur, Lake Lucerne also contains numerous pastoral vignettes—a harvest scene near the center, a religious procession at the right, and a gypsy camp at the left.

  • 19 x 31 inches (image), 21 x 31 inches (poster)

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