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Bierstadt's best-known works of Yosemite are the large ones in which the valley's features are easily recognized. The area provided an inexhaustible source of imagery. In Valley of the Yosemite,
Bierstadt reveals his sensitivity to the physical presence of landscape forms and how adroitly he could represent them. For this painting appears to be nothing if not a carefully meditated exercise
in describing trees, mountains, and water in varied light when, because of the angle of illumination, textures are most noticeable and palpable.
Bierstadt captured that moment in the day when both the surfaces and the solidity of objects are most apparent. Although an intimate scene, Valley of the Yosemite has an openness of design and a generous feeling of space. As in his other large paintings, Bierstadt here appears most in control of his technical faculties and most willing to reveal his own feelings for the landscape; this is the work of an artist who in private moments feels the pulse of nature and is absorbed by it.