Bierstadt's majestic Golden Gate panorama leads Bonhams American Art sale

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Bierstadt's majestic Golden Gate panorama leads Bonhams American Art sale
Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902), Entrance to Golden Gate. Estimate: $200,000-300,000. Photo: Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- The American Art sale on November 24 will offer an array of exciting works across the 19th and 20th century genres represented in the category. Leading the sale is Entrance to Golden Gate by Albert Bierstadt, one of the most vivacious personalities of the American art world in the second half of the 19th century. He combined his flair for showmanship with abundant artistic talent to produce sublime panoramic views of the American West that awed and inspired audiences around the world. One of his superb works from California, Entrance to Golden Gate, exhibits Bierstadt's dramatic celebration of an unspoiled landscape and his mastery of light. It is estimated at $200,000-300,000.

During his extensive travels throughout the West, Bierstadt spent much of his time in California recording the topography of the Golden State, from the coast to the Sierra Nevada Mountains; he loved the resplendent beauty of California's coastline, particularly that of San Francisco. In Entrance to Golden Gate, Bierstadt characteristically depicts a landscape almost devoid of the presence of man, letting the placid, naturalistic splendour of California take pride of place.

Bonhams American Art specialist Aaron Anderson said: “Entrance to Golden Gate, is a subtly thoughtful and luminous vision of the West as an untouched American Eden. Bierstadt depicts an intimate view of a coastal landscape seen as slowly evolving rather than rapidly urbanizing. This work is likely one of the earliest California vistas that the artist painted in the field, making it exceptionally rare in his oeuvre and we expect a lot of interest from collectors.”

Other highlights in the sale include:

• Racing Yachts Magic and Gracie by James Edward Buttersworth (1817-1894). Buttersworth was one of the most noteworthy American maritime artists and painted beautifully detailed and dramatic depictions of famous racing clipper ships, steamers, and yachts under full sail off New York. Estimate: $40,000-60,000.

• Among the Weeds by John Brown (1831-1913). In this work, dating from 1882, Brown depicts a young woman in a state of reverie, expressing what was considered at the time an ideal of refined womanhood. Among the Weeds is one of the artist's most sophisticated and accomplished works on the subject of refined young women in America. Estimate: $30,000-50,000.

• Evening Encampment by Wolf Kahn (1927-2020). The work is a superb example of Kahn’s mastery of style and his ability to portray the atmospheric conditions of the landscape around him. Kahn painted Evening Encampment in 1974 at his summer home in Vermont and drew upon his recent memories of a trip he had made to Kenya. The lot includes a letter from the artist, where he asserts that this is one of his best works. Estimate: $30,000-50,000.

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