Deer in a Clearing

Deer in a Clearing, Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)
Deer in a Clearing, Albert Bierstadt (1830-1902)

Albert Bierstadt’s landscapes have just the right combination of wildness and perfection. I saw two real deer while walking on a trail in the woods this morning, and the scene was so ideal, so picture-perfect. Although Bierstadt and other Hudson River artists idealized the landscape, there is truth in that ideal. It is the true landscape minus the imperfect things, like a clumsy mom turning her ankle and hitting the ground with something snapping in her foot. Bierstadt would never have painted that. I’m pretty sure my foot isn’t broken. I hobbled back to the car. And now I hobble around the house. I’ll be okay eventually.

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