Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast is an oil on canvas painting that he did in 1870 and today the painting is housed at the Seattle Art Museum. This artwork is a large-scale painting of the western coastal scenery and it was greatly praised because it was an accurate portrait of Puget Sound. Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast was created when he embarked on a trip to the Pacific Northwest and California. He was accompanied by a journalist Fitz Ludlow and they toured to the state new state of Oregon and Washington territory by horseback, steamboat, rail, and wagons.
The theme of this painting was a visual representation of this part of the nation which advertised the place to investors, travelers and settlers. Also, this artwork was created to fulfill the public's desire to see the countryside frontiers. Bierstadt's paintings had an emotional appeal that instilled a sense of history in their audience, which was both natural and human of all the American places that he represented through art. Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast depicts the life of Native Americans representing the indigenous people returning from fishing with baskets of fish and canoes. This was the main source of their livelihood, they had tribal distinctions and cultural traditions too.
Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast features a rocky landscape with trees, a rough sea, canoes, people, and the clouds are heavy ready to rain any time. Albert Bierstadt was a member of the Hudson River School of painting and it consisted of American landscape artists. Bierstadt was greatly influenced by Karl Friedrich Lessing who was a German romantic painter and his style of painting was evident in Bierstadt's artworks.
Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast painting was influenced by photographs of Carleton Watkins which interested Bierstadt and he decided to do a painting of the landscape. His artworks inspired people and encouraged them to two kinds of possessions, that is economic and perceptual. Viewers laid visual claim to these new landscapes which made them want to own them leading to land investments to capitalize on their potential. Among his other artworks were The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak, Niagara Falls, and A Trail through the Trees. Bierstadt’s artworks were acclaimed and fetched him considerable amounts during his lifetime. However, they drew criticism from reviews for his excessive effects such as unimaginable weather systems, use of saturated light, and dramatic use of color.