George Henry Durrie USA
6-6-1820 Hartford, USA – 10-15-1863 Boston, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
George Henry Durrie was a nineteenth century artist who developed a unique expression for the depiction of winter farmyards and landscapes. Durrie produced around 300 paintings over the course of his career. The earliest of these works were portraits however, by the early 1850s, Durrie had begun to focus increasingly on painting rural genre scenes and winter landscapes of New England.
In 1839, George Henry Durrie and his older brother John began taking painting lessons from Nathaniel Jocelyn, a renowned New Haven portraitist and Honorary Member of the National Academy of Design. Durrie studied with Jocelyn for two years.
Much of Durrie’s early career was spent as an itinerant painter, traveling over the countryside in search of portrait commissions in smaller towns and rural areas.
George Henry Durrie first showed his works in public exhibitions in 1843. His exhibited a portrait at the National Academy of Design in New York City.
By the 1850s, Durrie’s local reputation had started to grow and he was established enough to give up his itinerant lifestyle, setting up a permanent studio in New Haven.
Durrie’s landscapes are characterized by pale yet bright colors and by the repeated use of certain motifs, such as an isolated farmhouse, a road running diagonally through the composition, and a hill in the distance.
In 1861 the printmaking firm Currier & Ives further popularized Durrie’s work through publishing lithographs of his winter landscape. The last print to be published was Home to Thanksgiving in 1867. It has become one of the most Durrie’s most iconic images.
George Henry Durrie had a modest reputation during his lifetime, however after his death the Currier and Ives prints ensured Durrie’s works were kept in the pubic eye. Since the 1930s, Durrie has been increasingly recognized for his paintings following posthumous recognition in books, articles, and numerous one-man exhibitions. Important examples can be viewed in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the White House.
Art Movement: Realism
Influences: Nathaniel Jocelyn