George Henry Durrie

Twelve Miles To Goshen

MEDIUM: Oil on canvas

DIMENSIONS: 18 x 24 inches

ESTIMATE: $100,000.00 - $150,000.00

Signed and dated Jan 1858 lower right

Additional Information

Provenance:
Private collection Indiana

George Henry Durrie spent all 43 years of his life in Connecticut, which is where Twelve Miles to Goshen takes place. Goshen is a small village 35 miles from Hartford, Connecticut. Dated 1858, the work is an early American scene that highlights the beauty of the winter landscape, a style of painting that Durrie helped make popular in the mid-19th century. Durrie drew inspiration from the Hudson River School painters, but later added his own twist to the landscape genre when he included the snowy and icy conditions that were common during the winter months in Connecticut. Not only were the works a success, Durrie helped pioneer the genre of winter scenes. While his paintings were dismissed by art critics and curators, they were quite successful with collectors, including many who sought out commissions from the artist. Today his works are noteworthy for their quaint visions of small-town life during a time of year that is captured far less by other artists of the period.

“Almost all of his compositions are relatively small in scale, few exceeding 18 by 24 inches, and his views are quiet and intimate. He knew and admired the works of Thomas Cole, and may have tried to emulate certain aspects of Cole’s style, yet he eschewed the Hudson River School’s compositional complexity and expansiveness,” the National Gallery of Art notes. “Because his paintings combined extensive genre elements with landscape they had a story-telling content that made them pleasant, accessible images to the average viewer. The lithographic firm of Currier & Ives successfully reproduced 10 of Durrie’s scenes and these, in turn, became popular calendar illustrations in the 20th century. As a result, Durrie’s depictions of rural life in the mid-19th century are now among the most familiar images in all of American art…[H]owever, these printed pictures do not convey the keen sensitivity to and understanding of conditions of atmosphere and light that are so pronounced in Durrie’s paintings.”

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