River Scene

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

Date: 1854

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 24 x 34 1/8 in. (61 x 86.7 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Mary Starr Van Winkle, 1970

Accession Number: 1970.58


The mellow sunshine of a late summer afternoon gilds this scene. The cattle amble toward their unseen barn, casting long shadows across the rutted road. The hills on the far side of the water are low and gently sloped, hazy in the blue distance. This is not the typical Hudson River School landscape, which usually includes some dramatic element. The mood, the tempo, and, especially, the composition, which stresses two splendid trees in its diagonal division of space, relate Durand’s work to English landscape paintings.