André Durand (born Ottawa, Canada 1947) is a painter working in the European Hermetic tradition. He is influenced by artists such as Rubens, Titian, Michelangelo and Velázquez.
Although Durand is perhaps best known for his allegorical portraits, such as Princess Diana as Fortuna, he achieved international artistic acclaim for his official portraits of John Paul II (1983) and the Dalai Lama (1983, 1989). Durand’s portrait of the Irish novelist Elizabeth Bowen (1972) is one of the most popular portraits in London’s National Portrait Gallery. In 1970 Durand painted a series of pictures inspired by the dancers of the Royal Ballet. It is nevertheless Durand’s extraordinary mythological narratives that demonstrate his profound understanding of the myths and rituals of both Classical and Christian traditions. These are an ever-present undercurrent of his work.
As Durand has said: ‘almost all the young people that inspire me to paint them have something in common. I am convinced that I have met them before in a painting. When I consider the teenage behavior of the deities and saints in mythology or the Bible, not to mention heroes and heroines, the kids in my pictures are appropriate symbols of such protagonists.’ How suitable therefore, for Durand to have represented the bravery of Daniel confronting death amongst the lions as a tribute to Demelza’s dedication and sensitivity to the uniqueness of the physical, social, intellectual, emotional, cultural and spiritual needs of every child and their family.