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Acknowledged as the founder of the western school of landscaping painting, Albert Bierstadt was perhaps the most successful and renowned painter in America in the last part of the 19th century with examples of his work included in virtually every major American art collection. Best known for his enormous, highly romanticized landscapes of a golden West, Bierstadt traveled from his New York studio with his sketch pad, paints and canvas on the back of a mule, past the Missouri river and deep into the Rocky Mountains of Wyoming to capture what many consider depictions that border on a “religious” experience.