The Wild West appeals to him. In 1859, he participates in the Lander expedition which was an official mission to improve the transcontinental trails in application of the Pacific Wagon Road Act issued by the Congress in 1857. Experienced and bold, Frederick W. Lander explores the area that will later become Wyoming, perhaps to pass round the Utah.
Bierstadt was dazzled by the beauty of the mountain range of the Winds, in the west of the territory. Like all the painters of his time, he established sketches during the journey and painted his compositions after coming back to his studio.
On September 19 in Jackson Hole, Jackson Hole Art Auction sells Wind River Country, oil on canvas 72 x 100 cm, lot 184 estimated $ 1M, here linked to the bidding platform LiveAuctioneers. Here is the link to the press release issued by the auction house.
This scenery is in the immediate following of the travel with Lander and was painted by Bierstadt circa 1860. The sunset in the pure sky over a grand landscape is influenced by the romantic paradises by the Hudson River school.
Bierstadt is a pioneer, anticipating Thomas Moran who will use the railroad to join the Hayden expedition in 1871. The extreme colors of Wyoming by Moran will be inspired by the style of Turner.