72 x 120 in. (182.9 x 304.8 cm)
Framed: 84 x 132 in. (213.4 x 335.3 cm)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
Acquired in 1878 to complement another work by Albert Beirstadt, Discovery of the Hudson River, this historic landscape represents exploration of the Pacific coast, showing a Spanish expedition conducting a Catholic Mass on the shore of a luminous Monterey Bay. A grazing herd of domestic animals in the foreground symbolizes the natural bounty to be found in the West. Along with its pendant piece, Entrance into Monterey hung in the House Chamber until 1901.