Cathedral Rock, Yosemite
By Albert Bierstadt
Frederick and Julia Billings probably acquired this painting for their home in Woodstock in 1870, the same year it was painted. In her diary entry for October 30th of that year, written in Woodstock, Julia Billings noted “He [Frederick] brought from N.Y. a fine landscape by Bierstadt.”
This view of Cathedral Rock was often chosen by artists and photographers such as Carleton Watkins; Frederick and Julia Billings also owned a Watkins mammoth photo of this scene.
Albert Bierstadt was one of America’s best-known and most successful landscape painters. He was born near Düsseldorf in Germany, and brought to America in infancy. He grew up in New Bedford, Massachusetts, but returned to Düsseldorf as a young art student, and studied painting there and in Rome. In 1859 he traveled for the first time through the American West, and in 1860 he settled in New York, becoming a member of the National Academy in that year. He kept a studio at Irvington-on-Hudson for many years.
Oil, canvas. 61x46 cm
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, MABI 4162