Albert Bierstadt was born in Germany in 1830 and raised in the US. In 1853 he returned to Germany to study in Dusseldorf, where he refined his technical abilities by painting Alpine landscapes. After he returned to America in 1857, he took countless photographs and made sketches of mountain ranges and dramatic rock formations which became the studies for his canvases which he painted in his New York studio. Bierstadt's romanticised landscapes, painted on huge canvases with great detail and dramatic lighting, captured the imagination of 19th century art collectors. He was one of the last of the Hudson River school of painters who specialised in grandiose mountain scenery. Bierstadt enjoyed tremendous success during his life and his paintings brought record prices. Today, his on-the-spot sketches are found more appealing.