Artwork of the Day: August 2018 (Week 34)
Asher Brown Durand (1796-1886), Landscape, 1866, oil on canvas, 15 ¼ x 25 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, 1964.
This serene landscape was painted by American artist Asher B. Durand, who was born on August 21, 1796. A New Jersey native, Durand often spent summers in the Adirondack Mountains in New York, which may have inspired the scenery depicted here. Like his contemporaries, Durand believed there was a moral effect to contemplating nature, and that light held divine implications. Thus, in this painting, he maximizes the light by placing the sun low in the sky over the reflective lake. The combination of strong light with mirroring water was a device frequently used by Hudson River School painters to evoke a contemplative spiritual mood.