Garden of the Gods
Bierstadt called this work Garden of the Gods, electing to show us the majesty of the garden that is the wilderness unchecked in this case, a portion of the Yosemite Valley. Sydney Eddison, a writer for Horticulture Magazine stated, "Gardens are a form of autobiography. How we approach them, and even more, how we define them, says a great deal about who we are and what we believe in." Bierstadt's works derived from transcendentalist philosophy the idea that the divine is incarnate within the natural world around us. So while our own gardens, however lovely, remain small and imperfect, God's garden (and Bierstadt's vision) is this vast and awe-inspiring panorama, complete with all aspects of flora and fauna a form of Eden, in which Native Americans, despite the Indian Wars raging at the time, are depicted as the innocent inhabitants of earth's last paradise.