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Re: Accurate painting?

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avatar Accurate painting?
January 03, 2010 06:01PM
Accurate?

avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 03, 2010 06:06PM
It's art, Vince. Art isn't accurate.
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 03, 2010 06:49PM
Vince,

I'm not up on artists but I know that at least one who visited from Europe made a few sketches, returned home, and painted some views like this one from memory. I don't think the artists who did this sort of thing had any real intention of dipicting the views as accurate. These were just a conglomeration of memorable views that they threw together with a lot of artistic license. They just needed to sell some pretty pictures so they could eat.
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 03, 2010 07:31PM
For a larger image:

http://www.the-athenaeum.org/art/full.php?ID=14068

and a Mark Twain review:

http://www.yosemitenews.net/yosemite_domes.html


With these 19th century western panorama paintings (like Thomas Moran's) I always like to look for the humans. Apparently, often painters of that era and style often inserted a small image of humans to aggrandize the scale and perhaps to show the insignificance of human influence on the scene. Couldn't find any in this painting for sure but there are some shapes near trees that might be meant to represent human forms.
Any art historians out there to give us more information on this fine painting?



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 03, 2010 11:21PM
The painting does what it is supposed to do: It Inspires
Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 07:43AM
I am sure this painting takes some artistic liberties, as do all such paintings - but I can imagine standing at a spot just west of Yosemite Creek near the base of Upper Fall where this might be a fairly accurate depiction of the view. In fact, I am now tempted to see if I can find such a location.

I think it may be more accurate as a record than many of Bierstadt's otherwise gorgeous paintings, for example.
Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 07:48AM
Just read Twain's critique - such an iconoclast! :-)
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 09:03AM
Quote
bpnjensen
. In fact, I am now tempted to see if I can find such a location.

.
Be sure to start at Turlock to find if you can see it from there.



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 12:55PM
I saw the painting on another web site and thought it would be worth discussion here since Twain did comment on it. Did Muir see the painting? I wonder. In a day and age where photos were still in their infancy (as was the park, if it even was a park at the time of the painting) I would hope people recording the wonders of Yosemite would make an attempt at being accurate. I can see the artist's "liberty," though...Bridalveil Fall was on the wrong side, so he put it on the left...that's my guess. Doesn't make the painting any less valid, to be sure. Twain can write it up, can't he? Imagine him in a day and age of twitter and facebook!
Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 06:42PM
Bridalveil Falls? I don't think so. That's the bottom of the Upper Falls, top of Lower Falls. I think both the foreground scene and background scene are fairly accurate, however he had to curve the valley so the location gives a head-on view to Royal Arches and the rest of the distant scene. So the artist's view of the distant scene is from the middle of the valley.
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 07:52PM
Bridalveil Falls? I thought that it was established somewhere inthe links that this was upper/lower Yosemite Falls.

B
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 07:55PM
Quote
Bee
Bridalveil Falls? I thought that it was established somewhere inthe links that this was upper/lower Yosemite Falls.

B

It'd have to be.
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 04, 2010 11:39PM
From an NPS webpage:
http://www.nps.gov/history/history/online_books/runte1/index.htm


National Parks
The American Experience
Chapter 1:
Catalysts: Nationalism, Art, and the American West

......The popularity of the Rocky Mountain School thus further prepared the United States to turn from simply appreciating its natural wonders to preserving them. To be sure, although artists such as George Catlin, Karl Bodmer, and George Caleb Bingham preceded the Rocky Mountain School into the West, as pioneers none was privileged to visit those wonderlands whose uniqueness later evoked cultural as well as artistic acclaim. The popularization of Yosemite Valley and the Yellowstone, in particular, respectively awaited the co-founders of the Rocky Mountain School, Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran. [28] Bierstadt, drawn west by the Rocky Mountains in 1859, painted the region more than a decade prior to Moran, which explains his earlier fame and importance. After sketching the Wind River Mountains and other large peaks in what is now the state of Wyoming, Bierstadt returned east and moved his studio from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to New York City, where, shortly afterward, the first of his paintings went on display at the National Academy of Design. Among them was The Base of the Rocky Mountains, Laramie Peak, shown in April 1860. Measuring a full 4-1/2 by 9 feet, it not only established his reputation but alerted the public to expect similar interpretations of the West in subsequent years. [29]

Bierstadt's second trip west in 1863 led him to California, where he became intimate with perhaps his most familiar trademark—Yosemite Valley. For seven weeks during August and September he rambled through the gorge, retracing the footsteps of Horace Greeley, the Reverend Thomas Starr King, and other early visitors. From his sketches evolved a lengthy series of paintings, including Valley of the Yosemite (1864), which sold the following year for $1,600. An even more dramatic success awaited The Rocky Mountains (1863). In 1865 the 6-by-10-foot canvas commanded $25,000, then the highest sum ever awarded an American artist. Two years later Bierstadt repeated the triumph with Domes of the Yosemite. A whopping 9-1/2 by 15 feet, it too was commissioned for $25,000. [30]

While Bierstadt's accomplishments affirmed the popularity of the American West, still others turned to the rising profession of photography to substantiate nationalists' claims. Carleton E. Watkins, for example, photographed Yosemite Valley and the Sierra redwoods as early as 1861, two years prior to Bierstadt's arrival. With fanfare no less than that accorded the painter, his pictures also made the rounds of major galleries in the East. [31] Bierstadt's advantage as a painter was his freedom to break with reality. Domes of the Yosemite, for instance, imparts a starkness and rigidity to the valley which imply that it is even more dramatic and magnificent than in real life. Similarly, the Indian encampment in the foreground of The Rocky Mountains draws the viewer's attention back to the peaks, whose outline, although subtle, again suggests an abruptness and boldness uncommon to most of the region. The style was in keeping with the preferences of those who needed reassurance that the mountains of the West were in fact rivals of the Alps. Bierstadt revealed his own uneasiness about the validity of such claims in a series of paintings oddly suggestive of alpine rather than western scenery. [32] In either case, his followers readily forgave his tendency to exaggerate the summits of the region; only as Americans became more self-confident about their cultural identity did their acceptance of the genre lapse into criticism. Meanwhile, if Bierstadt embellished his landscapes for dramatic emphasis, he merely copied what European masters themselves had encouraged for years regarding interpretations of their own famous ruins and buildings.......



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 05, 2010 06:56AM
I love pretty much any photo of Yosemite if it is done with some skill.
Sure, it's not entirely accurate but it's close enough to the real thing to inspire.

Thanks for sharing

Anyone know where there area any BIG paintings as mentioned above?
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 05, 2010 08:25AM
What does Al Bierstadt have to do with Twelve Monkeys?

A little more strange info on Bierstadt and trivia:


Painting "Valley of the Yosemite"


Answer Here



The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 06, 2010 02:28PM
Now that I look at it again...I was thinking Royal Arches looked more like El Capitan. So you're probably right and I was wrong. Still having a bit of trouble with the perspective, though. I went through my photos of the YF hike and this is the closest I could get to the painting's angle, someone might have a better one. (I think I may have posted this photo here before)

avatar Re: Accurate painting?
January 06, 2010 05:03PM
What Strix said was spot-on (spot on? on the spot? correctomundo).
Re: Accurate painting?
January 06, 2010 08:02PM
Thanks Bill. Yeah, take a grand scene and add the foreground as you wish it could be. Vince's pic shows the view from near the foreground location; yeah it needs a little improvement.
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