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George Henry Durrie

Sleighs Arriving at the Inn

George Henry Durrie

George Henry Durrie

Sleighs Arriving at the Inn

Sleighs Arriving at the Inn

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George Henry Durrie

1820 - 1863

Sleighs Arriving at the Inn

signed G.H. Durrie and dated 1851 (on the reverse prior to lining)

oil on canvas

19 by 25 1/8 in.

48.3 by 63.8 cm.

Executed in 1851.

The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc., an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's:


This work should be hung in its current state. The canvas has been lined. What is presumed to be the original inscription seems to have been transferred to the reverse of the lining canvas. The paint layer is stable, clean, well varnished, and retouched.


There is a restoration addressing a break in the canvas running about 4 inches within the top branches of the tree in the upper left, which can be seen under ultraviolet light. Other spots of restoration addressing small losses can be seen in this same area. An area of restoration measuring about 1 1/2 by 1 inch is visible further towards the upper left. There is another group of restorations in the center of the left side in the sky. Restorations addressing frame abrasion can be seen on the left and right edges. There are numerous restorations across the bottom edge on the right side in the snow beneath the horse, carriage, and stack of logs. There are isolated but fairly numerous retouches in the right side of the sky. Losses have been retouched in the central farmhouse, in the roof and in a few other isolated places.


Although there are numerous retouches throughout, the painting looks well and should be hung as is.


Framed Dimensions: 27 1/4 by 33 1/2 in. (69.2 by 85.1 cm.)

The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Private Collection (acquired circa 1880)

Private Collection (by descent)

Acquired from the above in 2015 by the present owner

Martha Young Hutson, "George Henry Durrie: An American Winter Landscape Painter," Antiques, vol. 103, February 1973, pp. 300, 302, fig. 1, illustrated

National Gallery of Art, American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part II, Washington, DC, 1999, p. 151, no. 4.

Nancy C. Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vermont, 1976, p. 60

New Haven, Colony Historical Society, George Henry Durrie: Connecticut Artist, 1820-1863, 1966, pp. 40, 51, no. 54, illustrated

New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, American Art from Alumni Collections, 1968, p. 84, no. 58

New London, Lyman Allyn Museum, Landscapes by George Henry Durrie, 1968- 69, p. 8, no. 8

Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Museum of Art, George Henry Durrie: American Winter Landscapist, Renowned Through Currier and Ives, 1977-78, pp. 49, 94, 174, 220, no. 136, fig. 44, illustrated

New Haven, New Haven Museum and Historical Society, 2010-12 (on loan)

According to Martha Hutson, “Durrie painted the sleighs of the farmers and merchants of New England towns. The earliest dated winter scene now known is Sleighs Arriving at the Inn, 1851. This canvas presents a flat, colorful design. Even this early in his career, Durrie attended all the elements that were to make up his winter scenes, yet without having attained the ability to define them ... The whimsy of detail and the general enthusiasm of the scene are typically Durrie” (George Henry Durrie (1820-1863): American Winter Landscapist, Renowned Through Currier and Ives, Santa Barbara, California, 1977, p. 49). Durrie’s earliest known works from the 1850s are defined by flat, somewhat primitive features and document the evolution of his unique style.