High Point: Shandaken Mountains

Artist: Asher Brown Durand (American, Jefferson, New Jersey 1796–1886 Maplewood, New Jersey)

Date: 1853

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 32 3/4 x 48 in. (83.2 x 121.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Sarah Ann Ludlum, 1877

Accession Number: 77.3.1


This work, first shown at the National Academy of Design’s annual exhibition in New York City in 1853, depicts a scene near the town of Olive, New York, where Durand spent the summers of 1853 and 1855. During those months, he repeated sketches he had made of a nearby mountain, High Point (also known as Ashokan High Point), on an earlier visit to the region in 1847. In this painting, in contrast to his large “historical landscapes,” the artist focused on depicting light and shade in the type of bucolic setting popular with an increasingly urban American public—represented here by the couple fishing on the bank of the stream, enjoying the bounty of nature.