George Henry Durrie (American, 1820-1863)
Sleighs Arriving at the Inn
Originally signed and dated "G.H. Durrie/1851" on the reverse, signature and date copied onto the current lining canvas.
Oil on canvas, 19 x 25 in. (48.5 x 63.5 cm), in an Eli Wilner replica frame.
Condition: Lined (in May 1942), scattered retouch, fine craquelure.
Provenance: Private collection, circa 1880; by descent to the present owner.
Literature: M. Hutson, "George Henry Durrie: An American Winter Landscape Painter," Antiques, vol. 103, February 1973, pp. 300, 302, fig. 1, illus.; National Gallery of Art, American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part II, Washington, DC, 1999, p. 151, no. 4.
Exhibitions: George Henry Durrie: Connecticut Artist, 1820-1863, New Haven Colony Historical Society, New Haven, Connecticut, April 20-June 1, 1966, (exh. cat. pp. 40, 51, no. 54, illus.); American Art from Alumni Collections, Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut, April 25-June 16, 1968, (exh. cat. p. 84, no. 58); Landscapes by George Henry Durrie, Lyman Allyn Museum, New London, Connecticut, December 8, 1968-January 5, 1969, (exh. cat. p. 8, no. 8); George Henry Durrie (1820-1863), American Winter Landscapist: Renowned Through Currier and Ives, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara, California, and elsewhere, December 4, 1977-January 5, 1978, (exh. cat. pp. 49, 94, 174, 220, no. 136, fig. 44, illus.); New Haven Museum and Historical Society, New Haven, Connecticut, 2010-12, on loan.
N.B. By the late 1840s, George Durrie began to shift away from portraiture and devote his artistic pursuits almost exclusively to rural scenes and winter landscapes. Martha Young Hutson writes, 'George Henry Durrie was an unusual and appealing artistic talent of the 1840's and 50's in America. His premature death in 1863 at age forty-three ended a career that was an important contribution to a native winter landscape school. He was one of the few landscape painters who, following the tenets of the Hudson River School, showed unusual talent for the New England winter landscape. Since his paintings are largely known through ten Currier and Ives lithographs, the story telling purpose of these prints has become confused with the paintings. Durrie was not a genre artist nor was his skill that of a folk painter. In fact, he was a self-trained artist of professional capabilities and unusual talent whose natural inclination led him to paint winter scenes around New Haven, Connecticut.' (George Durrie (1820-1863) American Winter Landscapist: Renowned Through Currie and Ives, Santa Barbara, California, 1977, p. 19). During the 1850s, 'Durrie was evolving a favorite subject of the isolated country farmhouse or inn located on a snow-covered road with one or two farmers and/or sleigh approaching or leaving.' (George Durrie (1820-1863) American Winter Landscapist: Renowned Through Currier and Ives, p. 90). In Sleighs Arriving at the Inn, Durrie enlivens this theme with several active and engaging vignettes.
Framed dimensions are 27 1/4 x 33 1/2 x 4 1/4 in.
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