Asher Brown Durand (American, 1796-1886)
Oil on canvas
33 ¼ x 27 ¼ inches
Tentatively signed on verso, stamp on the back
Considered one of the most influential members of the Hudson River School, Asher B. Durand endeavored to portray fresh, faithful depictions of nature through his iconic landscapes. Initially trained as an engraver, he did not commence his painting career until the early 1830s. Encouraged by prominent arts patron, Luman Reed, and fellow National Academy of Design founders, Thomas Cole and Samuel F. B. Morse, Durand abandoned engraving entirely to fully embrace painting by 1835. The influence of trips to the Adirondacks with Cole, combined with time spent in Europe studying the work of painters such as Claude Lorrain and Aelbert Cuyp, are reflected in Durand’s landscapes.1
Aiming to reveal the soul and depth of the beauty of landscape nature, Durand wanted the viewer to “look into the picture instead of on it.” By doing so, “pleasant reminiscences and grateful emotions will spring up at every step, and care and anxiety will retire far behind him.”2 In Forest Glen Durand successfully captures the essence of the American wilderness with his characteristic use of honest, exact details.
1 Huntington, Daniel. Asher B. Durand, A Memorial Address. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1887.
2 Durand, Asher B. “Letters on Landscape Painting, Letter VI.” The Crayon Vol. 1, No. 7 (February 1855).