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Asher Brown Durand

(1796-1886)

Alias: Asher B. Durand

Painter, copperplate engraver, Illustrator

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Biography

(b Maplewood, New Jersey, 1796; d Brooklyn, New York, September 1886) American Painter. Asher Brown Durand began his career as an engraver. Durand's success as an engraver gained him entrance into affluent circles, allowing him to become an influential figure in the arts. In 1825 Durand aided in the creation and organization of the New York Drawing Association, which later became known as the National Academy of Design. Durand acted as President of the Academy from 1845 to 1861. In the face of America's growing urbanization and industrialization, Durand turned to agricultural America for his primary inspiration and stressed a return to man's traditional relationship with nature, one of respect and reverence. The superb quality and innovation of his landscape paintings allowed Durand, along with his friend and fellow painter, Thomas Cole, to elevate landscape painting in the American psyche. His use of light and compositional format recall the work of Claude Lorrain and the seventeenth century Dutch landscapists, which Durand is thought to have studied during a tour of Europe from 1840 to 1841. Durand was not limited by these fundamentals, rather he blended them with his belief in a sincere and loyal representation of nature to create a refreshingly unique and sincere vision of America's countryside.* Durand relocated to New York City and continued to paint throughout his life. (Credit: *Christie’s, New York, Important American Paintings, May 24, 2007, Lot 100)

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