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Wednesday, 26 August 2015 10:37

The Nevada Museum of Art Presents the Exhibition "Tahoe: A Visual History"

Thomas Hill's 'Sugar Loaf Peak, El Dorado County.' Thomas Hill's 'Sugar Loaf Peak, El Dorado County.' Wikimedia Commons

In 1872, painter Albert Bierstadt finished "View From Donner Lake, California," which encompassed the mile-high waters of the Sierra Nevada with the sinewy wagon trails and the muscular, ramrod-straight tracks of the newly built transcontinental railroad.

But a funny thing happened in a different Bierstadt painting finished a year later. In "Donner Lake From the Summit," a celebrated 10-foot-wide oil-on-canvas commissioned by Collis P. Huntington, the wagon trail practically disappears. The railroad tracks are barely there too, at first glance possibly mistaken for a fallen tree. The emphasis is all warm sun, fluffy clouds and glorious terrain, untouched by man.

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