According to Martha Hutson, “Hunter in Winter Wood, dated 1860, is painted on Durrie’s largest canvas, 36 by 54 inches. Durrie’s pride in this picture is seen immediately in his unusually conspicuous signature… This canvas and an equally large picture of the same year, Wood for Winter, are the nearest Durrie is known to have approached in winter scenes the panoramic views of the Hudson River School. These paintings are his answer to the work of Cropsey and Kensett, and Church’s Heart of the Andes (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York). They meet the basic requirements of these artists’ style. The view is wide, the subject noble, the canvas large and the technique thin with a high technical polish. Where Durrie stopped short of Durand’s and Church’s technique is in the verisimilitude of detail. As in his earlier landscapes, Durrie retained the brushwork and color touch of Thomas Cole to denote detail of foliage, tree and rock. Durrie’s paintings stand apart from the mainstream of American landscape painting at the mid-century mark not only in their choice of season but in their personal idiosyncrasies of style" (George Henry Durrie (1820-1863): American Winter Landscapist: Renowned Through Currier and Ives, Laguna Beach, California, 1977, pp. 94-95).
Hutson continues, “The figures in Hunter in Winter Wood are, like the couple in Gathering Wood, incidental to the dominant theme of forest trees. The descriptive adjective of 'prosaic,' often attached to Durrie’s farmyards and not always accurate, does not apply here. Dreamy and poetic better describe the sunlit trees by the road. The patterning and stretching of the multiple branches and trunks is reminiscent of dancers. Durrie had previously experimented with the contrast of colors between trees and does so here with stunning obviousness. One tree is composed of salmon and brown tones and its neighbor cream, gray and turquoise. These colors are also subtly blended into the snow. The shadows on the snow are pink and mauve. Durrie had previously used pink in the snow shadows, but it was not until the late paintings that he did so predominantly. The snow is further enlivened by the reds and rusts of dead grass and bushes whose inclusion has been characteristic of his winter scenes.” (Ibid.).
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