“Truly all if remarkable and a wellspring of amazement and wonder. Man is so fortunate to dwell in this American Garden of Eden.”
Albert Bierstadt’s painting, “Mt. Timpanogos at Sunset,” was shown at the Corcoran Gallery — now part of the Smithsonian Museum — in 1971. At the time, it was known simply known as “The Mountain Top at Sunset, Western Landscape.”
It is a view of Timpanogos’s western face from a southernly perspective. Bierstadt’s paintings of the Rocky Mountains, Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Sierra Nevada defined the American vision of the West and led to the establishment of national parks in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and California. They can be found in the Smithsonian, Metropolitan Museum, Getty Center, and De Young collections; and reproduced en masse for over 100 years as stamps, posters, and puzzles.
Bierstadt’s love of Utah and the Wasatch are well documented. He came here numerous times between the 1870 and 1900, making some of Utah’s natural wonders iconic landmarks in the American imagination. He also made many friends along the way, reportedly frequently staying at the home of George Q. Cannon — then a member of the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints — and taking painting expeditions with local artists.
Separately, Anthony’s recently acquired a guestbook from the Silver Lake Villa, then located in present-day Brighton, Utah in Big Cottonwood Canyon, where artists Albert Bierstadt and Alfred Lambourne both stayed on August 22, 1881.
The specific date for this painting of Timpanogos is not known. Its perspective suggests Bierstadt was likely standing on or near South Timpanogos peak, which comes to a height of 11,719.