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The Buffalo Trail: The Impending Storm

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“The Buffalo Trail: The Impending Storm” is an idyllic picture that was created by Albert Bierstadt in 1869. He created this picture following his extensive trips to the American West. He used the views that he had sketched during his trips in creating the picture showing buffalos peacefully crossing a river against a rolling sky.   

There are various artistic aspects that have made this picture to be highly captivating. First, Bierstadt presents an artwork that is highly detailed, exhibiting a change in weather in a perfect way. Looking at the artwork, one can see that the region where the buffalos are coming from is about to experience a stormy weather while where they are headed has a calm weather. Therefore, Bierstadt uses a perfect color contrast in the artwork to present two regions varying weather patterns: one region with a stormy weather while the other with a calm weather. Bierstadt also uses the contrast of brilliant light and inky storm clouds to create a visual excitement showing contrast between darkness and light, showing buffalos moving from darkness to light. This depiction perfectly correlates to the fact that buffalos have poor vision in darkness and are; thus, moving to the light so that they can have better vision of their surroundings. Next is the way in which Bierstadt captures the essence of the landscape in his artwork. The inky storm clouds, the sky, and the blue light penetrating the clouds are a perfect representation of an impending stormy weather, making the artwork seem as if it is a photograph as opposed to being a drawing. Also, the trees, the mountain, the river, and the rest of the vegetation in the artwork is a perfect representation of a wild habitat forming home for the buffalos.

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