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Asher B. Durand


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(b Jefferson Village [now Maplewood], NJ, 21 Aug. 1796; d Jefferson Village, 17 Sept. 1886).

American painter and engraver. His early work was mainly as an engraver and he established his reputation with his print after John Trumbull's Declaration of Independence and with portraits of eminent contemporaries. In the 1830s he turned increasingly to painting. At first he worked mainly as a portraitist, but then devoted himself to landscape, becoming a leading figure of the Hudson River School. Thomas Cole was a major source of inspiration, and Durand's most famous painting, Kindred Spirits (1849, New York Public Lib.), was painted as a memorial to him: it shows Cole (who had died the previous year) and the poet William Cullen Bryant admiring spectacular scenery in the Catskill Mountains, New York State.

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