Durand, Asher Brown
American engraver and painter, born in South Orange, New Jersey. Trained by an engraver and at the American Academy of Fine Arts, he established his reputation as a printmaker with his 1823 engraving of the painting The Declaration of Independence, painted by American artist John Trumbull. After 1835 he devoted himself primarily to painting, at first figure pieces and portraits, but later realistic landscapes, mostly of the Hudson River valley and New England. With the American painter Thomas Cole he originated the Hudson River School of landscape painting; Asher Brown Durand was one of the first Americans to encourage painting outdoors. Asher Brown Durand's landscapes not only exhibit a truthfulness to nature, but are also evidence of his abiding belief in nature's inherent spirituality.
Among examples of Asher Brown Durand's artwork are Old Oak (1844, New-York Historical Society, New York City); Kindred Spirits, showing Thomas Cole and the American poet William Cullen Bryant admiring a view (1849, New York Public Library, New York City); and Catskill Clove (1866, Century Association, New York City). In 1825 Asher Brown Durand was a founder of the National Academy of Design; he served as the academy's president from 1845 to 1861.
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