Take a careful look at George Henry Durrie’s “Winter in the Country,” painted c. 1858. In this work, we see a stone wall spread across the foreground; the trees at the left are spindly. A lone traveler approaches the homestead over the shadowed snow, with a market basket on one arm and a full sack across his shoulder. Durrie, ever mindful of the details that help to make his images comforting and familiar, included a loyal dog by the man’s side. The sky, which fills the upper two-thirds of the painting, is composed of gray clouds. Although Durrie tended to use wintry shades of muted gray, blue, and purple, he also used accents of red, or rusty orange-brown, or even buttery yellow in his work. Which colors catch your eye in this composition?
George Henry Durrie, “Winter in the Country,” c. 1858, oil on canvas, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon