About the artwork
The untamed nature of the 19th century American West was masterfully captured in this beautiful depiction of Lake Tahoe with surrounding mountain peaks, forests and landscapes, untouched by a human hand. As we have spread to the farthest reaches of the planet and there is very little left unchanged and natural, with this art piece, Bierstadt created a window into a world that is now lost. Vivid colours of the skies emphasize the power and majesty of the scene, while lake waters create almost surreal contrast of tranquillity and time standing still. Both aspects were captured in millions of stitches of colourful threads, which add depth and texture to the motif, emphasizing the dichotomy of land and skies.
The embroidered art piece was split into four parts and mounted on side panels and doors of a heavy natural oak cupboard, designed for high-fidelity music lovers who appreciate fine art.
The cupboard was designed to house a high-end stereo amplifier and its peripherals, several vinyl LPs, and on the top surface, there is space for turntables, whether modern hi-fi or vintage ones. In addition, the cupboard is equipped with a silent cooling system for the amplifier inside and a surge-protected power supply to ensure all the hi-fi components remain safe.
With its immense weight of over 100 kilograms, the cupboard is a sturdy and stable platform for the enjoyment of listening to music on vinyl.
About the artist
Albert Bierstadt remains one of the highest-regarded American artists of the nineteenth century, travelling across the continent to reach natural landscapes where nothing was yet touched by human hands. His many trips to the wilderness from 1859 to 1873 resulted in several monumental art pieces, received with great praise. Wilderness always inspired him as the greatest source of artistic motifs. Today, his paintings hold even more value, as they depict scenery that is now lost or altered because of human interference. Bierstadt’s trips into the West tell a story of nature losing innocence, as his first trip to Lake Tahoe was through the untamed wilderness in a horse-pulled wagon. Just a few years later, he travelled there by a newly constructed railroad that sprung tourism, hotels, and shops around the lake, seemingly overnight. As a result, his romantic depictions were dubbed »impressions of solitary grandeur«.
Born in Prussia, he studied art in Düsseldorf and later became a part of the famous Hudson River School in New York. This was the birth of his painting style, contrasting strong, almost glowing light with tranquil nature. His paintings awarded him membership in the National Academy of Design and many prestigious awards both in America and in Europe, and even a private reception with Queen Victoria in London.
He paid for a substitute to take his place in the draft in 1863 during America’s civil war, which gave him time to paint some of the most monumental pieces.
Extraordinary number of stitches
In a classic embroidery, the number of stitches is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000, and is limited by stretching and contracting of materials. By overcoming this limitations, we are able to make embroideries with millions of stitches which enables us to produce photorealistic embroideries and recreate any painting of any artistic style.
Innovation of layering
We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.
Smooth transitions and shading
By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.
Sophisticated colour calibration
Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.