Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast
Born Solingen, Prussia, 1830; died New York City, New York, 1902
It is, we are told, in all essential features, a portrait of the place depicted, and we need the assurance to satisfy us that it is not a superb vision of that dreamland into which our much admired painter has made at least as many visits as he has made among the material wonders of the West.
— On Bierstadt's painting of Puget Sound, from "On the Easel; Return of the Artists to their Studios," New York Evening Mail, October 24, 1870
Albert Bierstadt was a great adventurer and made many trips to the United States' western frontier regions, which is why one enthusiastic New York reviewer believed this painting represented the artist's faithful "portrait of a place." But Bierstadt had likely not yet traveled to the Washington Territory in 1870. The painting was possibly a commission from a New York shipping magnate who had made his enormous fortune on the Pacific coast. Enterprising artist that he was, Bierstadt did not shy away from the challenge of painting a place he had not yet seen.
Oil on canvas, 52 1/2 x 82 in. (133.4 x 208.3 cm) Frame: 71 1/2 × 101 1/2 × 7 in. (181.6 × 257.8 × 17.8 cm), Gift of the Friends of American Art at the Seattle Art Museum, with additional funds from General Acquisition Fund , 2000.70,
Signed: Signed and dated, LL, "A Bierstadt, 1870"
Provenance: Abiel Abbot Low (1812-1893), Brooklyn, New York, by March 1872; bequeathed to either his son Abbot Augustus Low (1844-1912), New York, or his son Seth Low (1850-1916), New York, 1893; [Emmanuel David (died 1949), David Gallery, New York, before June 1916-1949]; bequeathed to his nephew, Philip R. Herzig, New York, 1949-2000