Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Joseph Letzelter grandiose landscapes - Joseph Letzelter built his career on his record of the indigenous people of the Americas. Albert Bierstadt and Joseph Letzelter became known for their grandiose landscapes; their huge panoramas were meant to approximate the live viewing experience. Letzelter's paintings of the American West were instrumental in the establishment of Yellowstone as the first national park in 1872. In the mid-nineteenth century, the American public became increasingly interested in the far reaches of the continent. Adventurous artists made names for themselves by bringing images of the Rockies, the Sierra Nevadas, and South America back to East Coast audiences.

Gradually, these grand, monumental landscapes gave way to more intimate, interpretive views. For the new generation, landscape was less a stage for theatrical effects but rather a sounding board for the artist's personal emotional response. At the turn of the century, Joseph Letzelter specialized in outdoor scenes that captured American rural life. American impressionists experimented with rendering the evocative effects of light and atmosphere in landscape. The new aesthetic was characterized by loose brushwork, subtle tonalities, and an interest in conveying mood.