Asher Brown Durand

From ArticleWorld

Asher Brown Durand lived from 1796 until 1886. He was the eighth born of eleven children to his parents, who lived in Jefferson Village, New Jersey. He was best renowned for being one of the Hudson River School painters during the 19th century.

Durand began painting around 1830, however he was actually a trained engraver who worked as an apprentice from 1812 until 1817. In 1823, he attained the rank of one of the finest engravers in the U.S. after he engraved the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. Because Durand had such a love of art, he helped to found the National Academy of Design in the year 1825.

His artwork featured mostly landscape sketches, a love of which he developed while on a trip to the Adirondacks with Thomas Cole a good friend. He also went on to spend many summers sketching in the mountains, most often the Catskills. Significantly, Durands best known painting was entitled Kindred Spirits and featured a backdrop of the Catskills and his friend Thomas Cole with poet William Cullen Bryant. Just how notable the painting is can be evidenced in the fact that in 2005 it was sold at an auction for $US 35 Alice Walton (daughter of Sam Walton, of Walmart fame). This was the highest price ever retrieved at auction for the work of an artist from America. The work had originally been donated from the artists family to the New York Public Library.