“THE TRUE PROVINCE OF LANDSCAPE ART IS THE REPRESENTATION OF THE WORK OF GOD”: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF A.B. DURAND
(DURAND, Asher Brown) DURAND, John. The Life and Times of A.B. Durand. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1894. Tall quarto, original white linen gilt, beveled edges, patterned endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut, original red cloth chemise. $850.
Limited first edition, one of only 100 large-paper copies (out of a total edition of 500), of this illustrated biography of Hudson River School painter Asher Durand, with engraved frontispiece portrait and 14 select reproductions of Durand’s works, showing his “diversity of talent.”
When in 1823 A.B. Durand’s engraving after John Trumbull’s “Declaration of Independence” was published, Durand’s reputation was firmly established as one of the country’s finest engravers. About a decade later his interest shifted from engraving to landscape painting, and in 1837, he joined in a sketching expedition to the Adirondack mountains with his friend Thomas Cole. There Durand came to believe that “nature was an ineffable manifestation of God” (Henderson & Belson). In a series of nine articles prepared for the New York art periodical The Crayon, Duran publicized his belief that “the true province of Landscape Art is the representation of the work of God in the visible creation.” Thomas Cole died unexpectedly in 1848 and Durand was crowned by the national press as his successor. Dubbed the “father of American landscape painting,” he continued Cole’s legacy, becoming the leading practitioner of the Hudson River style. Where Cole’s landscapes were still painted in the European tradition of allegorical reference, Durand’s ideal embraced a more naturalistic approach. He set the stage for the Barbizon and Impressionist aesthetics that would overtake the Hudson River School romanticism” (Armand Cabrera). One of only 100 copies on large paper. Freitag 3029.
A fine copy.