- J. Gray Sweeney
(b Springfield Township, NJ, Aug 21, 1796; d Maplewood, NJ, Sept 17, 1886).
American painter and engraver. Durand has long been considered a key figure of the Hudson River school of American landscape painting. Durand was born into a working-class family, the eighth of eleven children, in Maplewood, NJ (then called Jefferson Village), and died in his father’s house at age 90. His father was a watchmaker and silversmith, and in 1812 Durand was apprenticed to the engraver Peter Rushton Maverick. Durand achieved his first success by engraving John Trumbull’s Declaration of Independence (1823), and he engraved Ariadne (1835) after John Vanderlyn’s painting (1812). He also was commissioned to engrave banknotes. In 1825 he played an important role in organizing the New York Drawing Association, which eventually became the National Academy of Design. He remained active in the Academy’s affairs throughout his career. Durand first began painting in the 1830s, producing portraits of leading historical and literary figures. In ...