In 1863 Albert Bierstadt made studies in Colorado for this huge painting, created three years later in his New York studio. Snow-capped mountains, lakes, and waterfalls provide the spectacular setting for a Native American encampment and hunting expedition. The artist reorganized Rocky Mountain landmarks, exaggerated their scale, and introduced dramatic weather to thrill audiences at a moment when the North American continent was under rapid development. Bierstadt's display for profit of large canvases with theatrical lighting was a forerunner of today's movies.
This particular painting had a personal significance, for "Mt. Rosalie" (now Mount Evans) was named by the artist in honor of his traveling companion's wife, Rosalie Osborne Ludlow, whom Bierstadt would marry in 1866 following her divorce.