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Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape - Essay Example

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This paper "Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape" discusses Asher Brown Durand (August 21, 1796-September 17, 1886) who was an American painter of Hudson River School. He was born at Jefferson Village which is now known as Maplewood, New Jersey…
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Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape
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Download file to see previous pages During these forty years, he set the tone for American landscape painting, which celebrated man’s relationship with nature and the wilderness it encompasses within. He helped to define an American sensibility about the land, setting it apart from European traditions. Durand’s influence hastened the decline of history painting in the mid 19th century and the rise in popularity of landscape paintings, which were increasingly considered great works of art. Durand was influenced by the British critic John Ruskin and advocated a naturalistic approach to landscape.

At the age of 16, in the year 1817, Durand became a trainee to Peter Maverick, a well-established artist of those times. In the middle decade of the 19th Century, landscape painting dominated American art. Beginning with Thomas Cole, an English born artist with an amazing love for wilderness, two generations of landscape painters consciously set out to create the first American art movement. Based in New York City they became to be collectively known as The Hudson River School. The founder members were Cole, Thomas Doughty, and Asher B. Durand. These artists embraced landscape paintings as a medium for addressing profound philosophical questions of life and human aspiration. The members of this school imagined the natural world as a grand opera. With or without actors the scenery provided all the romance and the drama; lofty mountains, turbulent skies, and divinely inspired sunlight.

Durand was heavily influenced by Thomas Cole and after his death in 1848, became the leader of the American School of Landscape Painting. Durand initiated his career as an engraver which lasted from 1812 to 1817 and later established a partnership with the owner of the company. By the early 1830’s he got a name as the best engraver in the country. Initially, he began with engraving banknotes and other commercial works but soon after he got engrossed into admirable fine-arts engravings.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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