Lot 1
  • 1

Albert Bierstadt 1830-1902

30,000 - 50,000 USD
50,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Albert Bierstadt
  • Butterfly
  • signed Albert Bierstadt and dated Dec 16/ '90, l.r.
  • oil and pencil on paper


Terry DeLapp, Los Angeles, California, 1974
Acquired by the present owners from the above, 1974


Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art; Fort Worth, Texas, Amon Carter Museum; Los Angeles, California, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, An American Perspective: Nineteenth-Century Art from the Collection of Jo Ann and Julian Ganz, Jr., October 1981-September 1982, p. 115, illustrated p. 107

Catalogue Note

"Bierstadt's guests were often favored with delightful souvenirs from his hand. In Nassau these were little seashells with a few strokes of paint inside; in New York they were the famous 'Bierstadt butterflies.' His technique in charming the ladies with little Bierstadts of their own was described in 1892 by the lady reporter who had been titillated by the artist's New York 'afternoon':

'We women were so glad we were women that afternoon, for Mr. Bierstadt presented each lady with a souvenir. This is how he made them. We all clustered about the table and he took out a palette, a knife and some large slips of cartridge paper. Two or three daubs of pigment on the paper, a quick fold, and holding it still folded against a pane of glass, he made two or three strokes of that wizard-like palette knife on the outside, and hey, presto! a wonderful Brazilian butterfly or moth, even the veining on the wings complete! A pencil touch added the antennae, that artist's autograph was added to the corner, and now we each of us own a painting by Bierstadt'" (Gordon Hendricks, Albert Bierstadt: Painter of the American West, 1974, p. 302-303).