Winter in the Country: A Cold Morning (Primary Title)
Durrie established his reputation at midcentury with rural winter landscapes populated by small figures. In January 1845, the Connecticut artist noted in his diary that it had “snowed considerably…the three sparkling with icy limbs [turning] the scene almost enchanting…sleighs have been constantly on the move, making [all] very animated.” Winter in the Country captures such a cheering prospect: under a pearl-gray sky, travelers make their way to the comforting shelter of a rustic inn. Nearby, farmhands feed animals, while a woman draws water from the well. The kettle, most certainly, will soon be on the boil.
With reassuring sentiments of safe haven, sustenance, and old-fashioned country hospitality, Durrie’s crisp landscape also invites the viewer in out of the cold. His winter scenes, several reproduced as lithographic prints by the renowned firm of Currier & Ives, achieved widespread popularity at a time when the United States was torn by civil strife and struggling to meet the challenges of a rapidly industrializing urban economy.
George Henry Durrie and the Winter Landscape, Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX, March 16 – April 23, 1978
New Haven Historical Society, New Haven, CT, 1978
The American Experience, Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York, NY, 1976
George Henry Durrie 1820-1863, Connecticut Painter of American Life, Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT, 1947
David Park Curry, “Portals to Gardens of the Mind,” A Covenant of Seasons Monotypes by Joellyn Duesberry Poems by Pattiann Rogers (New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1998) pp. 129-131, 148, b&w ill. fig. 1, p. 129.
Anne Barriault, Selections Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1997) p. 85, ill. (color).
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