George Henry Durrie painted “Winter in the Country” in 1857.
“Durrie’s ‘Winter in the Country’ evokes the New England landscape near his New Haven, Conn., home,” according to the de Young Museum, where this painting is displayed. “The structure at right is a Colonial-era saltbox house, characterized by a roof that is steeply pitched in the front but descends gradually toward the back. Durrie’s image documents progress of the original settlers, who initially built a single-story home but later added the three-story hotel to capitalize on the needs of travelers and tourists.
“Painted just prior to The Civil War, this productive and prosperous scene celebrates the virtues of Northern free labor, which was often contrasted with the inequalities of Southern slave labor. Durrie’s paintings were popularized by the firm of Currier & Ives, who published 10 prints ~ mostly of winter scenes ~ between 1861 and 1867. These idealized depictions of New England farms resonated with Northerners nostalgic for the rural lifestyle being transformed by industrialization.”
Keywords:George Henry Durrie, Glenn Franco Simmons, San Francisco, Winter in the Country, de Young Museum