The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 23, 2024

Fir Trees and Storm Clouds

Fir Trees and Storm Clouds

c. 1870
(American, 1830–1902)
Unframed: 35 x 47 cm (13 3/4 x 18 1/2 in.)
Location: not on view


Bierstadt made his first journey West in 1859, opening the eyes of other American artists to the potential for inspiration in the Western landscape. This atmospheric study is generally associated with his inaugural 1859 trip, but may also belong to a later Western visit in 1870. The low horizon and vividly observed sky place the painting within the tradition of European plein-air (open air) oil sketching, similar to the work of John Constable. Even though the landscape occupies only a small portion of the scene, the different species of trees are carefully distinguished and the rocky outcrops are characteristic of the Western terrain where Bierstadt was traveling.
  • English Collection; (Davis & Langdale, New York,d 1982).
  • The Year in Review for 1982. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (January 5-February 6, 1983).
    The American Sublime. Tate Britain, London (organizer) (February 20-May 19, 2002); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Museum of American Art, Philadelphia, PA (June 17-August 25, 2002); Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, MN (September 22-November 17, 2002).
    New York, Davis & Langdale Company, Inc, Oil Sketches by Albert Bierstadt, 1830-1902 (13 April-8 May 1982), cat. no. 6, illus.
    Brooklyn, NY, The Brooklyn Museum, Feb. 8-May 6, 1991: "Albert Bierstadt: Art and Enterprise," cat. #31, illus. p. 168. Also to: San Francisco, CA, M. H. de Young Museum, June 8-Sept. 2, 1991; Washington, DC, National Gallery of Art, Nov. 3, 1991-Feb. 17, 1992
    London, Tate Britain, American Sublime: Landscape Painting in the United States 1820-1880 (21 February-19 May 2002); traveled to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (17 June-25 August 2002); to Minneapolis, Minneapolis Institute of Arts (22 September-17 November 2002); cat. no. 62, illus. p. 182.
  • {{cite web|title=Fir Trees and Storm Clouds|url=false|author=Albert Bierstadt|year=c. 1870|access-date=23 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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