Asher Brown Durand (aka Asher B. Durand)
Rural Landscape with Hay Wagon
North America, American
14 1/8 in. x 20 1/4 in. (35.88 cm x 51.44 cm)
Medium and Support:
Oil on canvas
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase
Currently On View
Asher Durand was widely acclaimed as one of the earliest of America's great landscape painters. He was known for his dedication to realism and accuracy in the depiction of natural forms. Although he was known for his devotion to a detailed style, he also practiced in a vein that was more Romantic, inspired by his love of earlier European landscape paintings by artists such as Claude Lorraine (French, 1604-1682). "Rural Landscape with Hay Wagon" functions in this more conventional Romantic manner. The hay wagon and its driver, as well as the wooden bridge, indicate a useful but benign human engagement with the natural world. Pristine forests and streams became much less common in the northeastern United States after the Civil War, when towns and cities expanded to overwhelm the pastoral landscape, and paintings such as this were appreciated as reminders of a simpler past.
American Paintings from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 2006, cat. no. 6, p. 46.