Albert Bierstadt, Nassau Harbor, ca. 1877
Oil on paper mounted on paperboard, 14 3/4 x 20 in. (37.5 x 50.8 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Museum purchase, Mildred Anna Williams Collection, 1961.22
Albert Bierstadt's first wife, Rosalie, suffered from tuberculosis. Treatment consisted of rest and a warm climate, and Nassau, capital of the Bahamas, had both. Rosalie went there in 1877, and her husband visited her as often as possible, between his various painting trips. This scene was painted on one of his visits, and Bierstadt probably did most of the work on the spot, laying on the brilliant blues and greens of the ocean with long strokes and dabbing in the sandy foreground with quick touches.
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