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The Catskills
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The Catskills

Description Conservation Exhibitions Provenance Inscription Credit
Description This painting was commissioned by William T. Walters in 1858, when the 62-year-old Durand was at the height of his fame and technical skill. The vertical format of the composition was a trademark of the artist, allowing him to exploit the grandeur of the sycamore trees as a means of framing the expansive landscape beyond. Durand's approach to the "sublime landscape" was modeled on that of Thomas Cole (1801-48), founder of the Hudson River school of painting. The painters of this school explored the countryside of the eastern United States, particularly the Adirondack Mountains and the Catskills. Their paintings often reflect the Transcendental philosophy of Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82), who believed that all of nature bore testimony to a spiritual truth that could be understood through personal intuition.
Date Description Narrative
10/07/1946Treatmentcleaned; coated
9/01/1967Treatmentcoated; loss compensation; other
8/01/1991Treatmentcleaned; coated
3/19/1997Treatmentloss compensation; coated
3/06/2006Examinationexamined for condition
  • Romanticism in America. Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore. 1940.
  • Highlights from the Collection. The Walters Art Gallery, Baltimore. 1998-2001.
  • The American Artist as Painter and Draftsman. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2001.
  • Kindred Spirits: Asher B. Durand and the American Landscape. Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington; San Diego Museum Of Art, San Diego. 2007-2008.
  • 19th Century Masterpieces from the Walters Art Museum. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Santa Barbara; Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin. 2010-2011.
  • From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story. The Walters Art Museum, Baltimore. 2014-2016.
Provenance Commissioned by William T. Walters, Baltimore, 1858, by commission [1]; inherited by Henry Walters, Baltimore, 1894; by bequest to Walters Art Museum, 1931. [1] Commissioned June 8, 1858, payment made May 3, 1859. See letters from Walters to Durand in the New York Public Library, Manuscript Division
Inscriptions [Signature] Below: A.B.Durand; [Date] Below: 1859
Credit Commissioned by William T. Walters, 1858

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oil on canvas
(Painting & Drawing)
Accession Number
H: 62 1/2 x W: 50 1/2 in. (158.8 x 128.3 cm); Framed H: 77 7/8 x W: 66 1/8 x D: 7 1/4 in. (197.8 x 167.96 x 18.42 cm)
  • USA (Place of Origin)
  • USA, Catskill Mountains, Plattekill Clove (Place Depicted)
Location Within Museum
Not On View

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