Bierstadt is able to achieve an incredible, photograph like appearance in this painting. A German painter who specialized in the capturing the awe-inspiring landscapes of the American landscape, he was able to sell many of these paintings for a good amount of money but did not receive much praise from critics of his time. He was known to use light "excessively" and to alter the reality of which he was using as his model, employing a false palette of colors just to make it more appealing to the eye.
While this painting itself may receive criticism for its idealization of a landscape, it is still able to knock one backwards with the scale and perfection of the landscape. In this case, I'll look at this beyond-perfect landscape all day.