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An Old Man's Reminiscences, by Asher B. Durand

Asher Brown Durand1845

Albany Institute of History & Art

Albany Institute of History & Art

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.

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