The oil painting I have chosen is called ‘Among the Sierra Nevada Mountains’ and was painted by Albert Bierstadt in 1868. The image portrays diverse landscape ranging from mountain tops to a crystal clear lake.
This painting has a variety of colours, the darker colours are to the right and to the left of the image with an intense bright white in the centre above the mountains. I believe that the white light symbolises hope of a better life for the travelling pioneers across the American frontier. The fact that it’s in the middle of the painting may represent that this hope is the main goal that they ae striving towards. The mountains are in front of the beaming sun, this may be as a barrier quite literally in the form as a physical object. However they may represent the hardships of the journey west overall, to reach the light and rich land which was waiting for them, pioneers had to face different obstacles.
There is also an abundance of wildlife in this image, this may show the untouched, untamed wilderness that Western America has to offer. The deer seem to be a family as there are young fawns included. They are looking towards the light as if they were travelling towards it, this could be representing travellers making their way westwards. To the right of the image there is a forest and in contrast to the rest of the image it seems very dark, this shows the difference between the East and West in terms of hope and opportunity during this period. There are also trees that have fallen as well as stumps, which doesn't portray a positive image where as to the left everything is pristine ad almost angelic. The waterfall in the centre of the painting is weaving through the valley between the mountains and disappears beneath the light, it almost seems like a trail and highlights the fact there are always ways around these different obstacles.