Ariadne: The Great American Nude
Many artists and critics, however, realized Vanderlyn's great achievement, among them the engraver and aspiring painter Asher B. Durand. In 1831 Durand purchased Vanderlyn's great work, along with an unfinished copy that is now in the Historical Society collection. Durand created an engraving of Vanderlyn's unappreciated masterpiece that was hailed by some as a great achievement, but the American public was still unprepared to accept a nude figure as a subject for art, so the print met a fate similar to the painting that inspired it. But there the two artists' fates diverged: while Vanderlyn became embittered and eventually died in poverty, Durand went on to become an accomplished portraitist and a highly acclaimed landscape painter.