John Durand (active 1766-1782) appears to be of French Huguenot descent and arrived in New York around 1766. He may be the John Durand who apprenticed with the London painter, Charles Catton, who specialized in heraldic and coach painting. Durand first traveled to Virginia in 1770. Virginia paintings are signed and dated from the years 1770, 1773, 1775, and 1780. Durand’s other known portraits are from New York and Connecticut.
Advertisements appear in the Virginia Gazette: “Portrait Painting. Gentlemen and Ladies that are inclined to have their pictures drawn will find the subscriber ready to serve them, upon very reasonable terms…[unreadable] their own homes where he [lives], which is …the Speaker’s. J. Durand. Williamsburg, June 7, 1770.” in 7 June 1770, Virginia Gazette (Purdie and Dixon), 3.
“Portrait Painting. Gentlemen and Ladies that are inclined to have their pictures drawn will find the subscriber ready to serve them, upon very moderate terms, either for cash, short credit, or country produce, at their own homes, or where he lives, which is next door to the Hon. the Speaker’s. He will likewise wait upon Gentleman and Ladies in the country, if they send for him. J. Durand. He will also paint, gild, and varnish, wheel carriages and put coats of arms, or cyphers, upon them, in a neater and more lasting manner than was ever done in this country. Williamsburg, June 21, 1770.” in 21 June 1770, Virginia Gazette (Purdie and Dixon), 3.