The Trappers' Camp Artist: Albert Bierstadt (American, born Germany, 1830–1902)


American Paintings and Sculpture

Not on view

Mountain men came to symbolize the American West, a land of promise and abundance. Under a moonlit sky, Albert Bierstadt’s trappers are at home in the dark, mysterious wilderness. Based on sketches he made during his first trip west in 1859 accompanying Frederick William Lander’s surveying expedition to Montana, Bierstadt later created landscapes such as this one in his New York studio. Painted on the eve of the Civil War, his frontier scenes offered a rustic, idyllic vision of the West to anxious Easterners.


Oil on academy board


13 × 19 in. (33 × 48.3 cm)

Credit Line

Whitney Collections of Sporting Art Fund, given in memory of Harry Payne Whitney, B.A. 1894, and Payne Whitney, B.A. 1898, by Francis P. Garvan, B.A. 1897, M.A. (Hon.) 1922

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.


  • Helen A. Cooper et al., Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness: American Art from the Yale University Art Gallery, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2008), 282–83, no. 174, ill.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

landscapes (representations)


Signed lower right "A Bierstadt 1861"

Technical metadata and APIs


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