Asher Brown Durand

Portrait of Asher Brown Durand by Daniel Huntington, ca. 1857

Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886) traveled to Geneseo, New York during the summer of 1859 and he made several drawings of trees while in the area.  Many of these drawings still exist, and are in the collection of the New York Historical Society in New York City.  Durand inscribed “Geneseo,” on these drawings, along with dates ranging from June 24, 1859, through July 27, 1859.

During his visit to Livingston County, Durand wrote a letter to his son John, dated August 7, 1859.  In it he states:

With all my troubles I believe I have learnt more of the management of colors in the painting of trees than by all my previous practice altho’ I have never produced so little in the same span of time, not having made but 4 studies in five weeks.

While Durand may have been frustrated by his perceived lack of progress at the time, he managed to produce a beautiful painting in the end.