Asher Brown Durand

Asher Brown Durand

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Asher Brown Durand

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Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796 – September 17, 1886) was an American painter of the Hudson River School.

Early life

Durand was born in and eventually died in Maplewood, New Jersey (then called Jefferson Village), the eighth of eleven children; his father was a watchmaker and a silversmith.

Durand was apprenticed to an engraver from 1812 to 1817, later entering into a partnership the owner of the firm, who asked him to run the firm's New York branch. He engraved Declaration of Independence for John Trumbull in 1823, which established Durand's reputation as one of the country's finest engravers. Durand helped organize the New York Drawing Association in 1825, which would become the National Academy of Design; he would serve the organization as president from 1845 to 1861.

Painting career

His interest shifted from engraving to oil painting around 1830 with the encouragement of his patron, Luman Reed. In 1837, he accompanied his friend Thomas Cole on a sketching expedition to Schroon Lake in the Adirondacks and soon after he began to concentrate on landscape painting. He spent summers sketching in the Catskills, Adirondacks, and the White Mountains of New Hampshire, making hundreds of drawings and oil sketches that were later incorporated into finished academy pieces which helped to define the Hudson River School.

Durand is particularly remembered for his detailed portrayals of trees, rocks, and foliage. He was an advocate for drawing directly from nature with...
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