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Tree Study, Newburgh, New York
Date: 1849
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Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 22 1/8 x 18 in. ( 56.2 x 45.7 cm ) Framed: 29 1/8 in. × 25 in. × 4 1/8 in. (74 × 63.5 × 10.5 cm)
Place made: North America, United States
Credit Line: Gift of Miss Nora Durand Woodman
Object Number: 1932.49
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Durand was a major advocate of outdoor painting in America, and he is still celebrated for the modestly scaled but powerful plein air paintings in which he recorded years of experience at the sketching grounds of the American landscape school. Thirteen of these works are on view here; they served as studies for his pastoral landscapes as well as for the vertical American forest interiors like Primeval Forest, ca. 1854 and Woodland Brook, 1859 that were so closely identified with Durand. Following traditional academic process, Durand used his drawn and painted studies to create the final exhibition work, which was an elaborate invention, or composition, painted in the studio. Nevertheless, the artist's close on-site study of natural objects and atmospheric effects informed the growing realism of Durand's exhibition pictures from the 1850s on.


Lawall, David B., Asher B. Durand: A Documentary Catalogue of the Narrative and Landscape Paintings, New York & London, Garland Publishing, Inc., 1978, p. 171.

Koke, Richard J., American Landscape and Genre Paintings in the New York Historical Society, Vol. I, New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1982, p. 3 .

Harvey, Eleanor Jones, The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880, Dallas: Dallas Museum of Art, 1998, pp. 130-1.

Peck, H. Daniel, "Unlikely Kindred Spirits: A New Vision of Landscape in the Works of Henry David Thoreau and Asher B. Durand," American Literary History, Vol. 17, no. 4, Winter 2005, pp. 695-6, 702.

Ferber, Linda S., ed., Kindred Spirits Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape, Brooklyn Museum, 2007, pp. 22-5.


"The Painted Sketch: American Impressions from Nature 1830-1880," Dallas Museum of Art, June 4, 1998-May 21, 1999.

"Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape," Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York, March 30 - July 29, 2007, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., September 14, 2007-January 6, 2008, San Diego Museum of Art, February 2-April 27, 2008.

"The American Landscapes of Asher B. Durand (1796-1887)," Fundación Juan March, October 1, 2010-January 9, 2011.

"Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society," Brandywine River Museum, March 19, 2016-June 12, 2016.

"Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society," Wichita Art Museum, February 4, 2017-April 30, 2017.