Durand was born in Düsseldorf to French parents. He trained in Paris under the painter Léon Cogniet, and then worked in Paris in the 1860s for many of the leading French illustrated newspapers of the time, including the including L'Univers Illustré, L'Illustration, Le Monde Illustré and Le Journal Illustré. He moved to London in 1869 to take up full-time illustrative work for the newly established illustrated weekly newspaper The Graphic, where he became a "special artist." The obituary by his former employer noted how he had been with the British newspaper "from its inception" on 4 December 1869 for several decades until the 1890s. He exhibited Un Coup de Canon (1870) at the Suffolk Street Gallery, London in a mixed 'Exhibition for the Benefit of the Distressed Peasantry of France' held to raise funds for those affected by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71. His watercolour Siege of Paris, 1871 Montmartre during the sortie of January 19th was shown at the Royal Society of British Artists in London in 1873. He died in Paris in 1896.
Drawings by Durand are held by the Royal Collection and the William Morris Gallery, London.
- 'At Home and Abroad: The Late M. G. Durand', The Graphic, 3 October 1896, p.422; 'Art Notes', Pall Mall Gazette, 3 October 1896, p.3.
- The Graphic, 14 January 1871, p.39.
- Archives de Paris, acte de décès n°2122 dressé le 28/09/1896, vue 3 / 28[permanent dead link]
- Rodney K. Engen, Dictionary of Victorian Wood Engravers (1985), p. 78.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Godefroy Durand.|