An Old Man's Reminiscences

Asher B. Durand (1796-1886)
Date: 1845
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 39 5/8 H x 58 1/4 W

Signed and dated lower left: A. B. Durand 1845

Credit: Gift of the Albany Gallery of Fine Arts
Accession Number: 1900.5.3

This painting is one of Durand's most richly symbolic landscapes. Relying on the English poet Oliver Goldsmith's Deserted Village of 1770, which recounted the visit of an old man to the site of the town where he had spent his youth, Durand's painting functions as a cohesive picture of scenery, but more properly as a landscape of memory. What the old man sees reminds him of his own past. Childhood is represented by the schoolchildren, youth by the lovers seated beneath a tree, and adulthood by the man driving the hay cart.