Durand, Asher Brown [key], 1796–1886, American painter and engraver, b. near Newark, N.J. He established a reputation by his engravings of Trumbull's Signing of the Declaration of Independence, followed by a series of engraved portraits of eminent contemporaries. After 1835, Durand devoted himself to painting, producing portraits of several of the Presidents. After a year of travel and study in Europe, he turned to landscape painting, becoming a leader of the Hudson River school. At first he was painstaking and meticulous, but later his rendering became more spontaneous. Examples of his work are In the Woods and The Beeches (Metropolitan Mus.); Woodland Brook and Franconia Notch (N.Y. Public Library); and Mountain Forest (Corcoran Gall.). Durand was a founder of the National Academy of Design, New York City, and its president from 1845 to 1861. Two of his allegorical paintings are there, Morning of Life and Evening of Life.
See biography by his son, John Durand (1894, repr. 1970).
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