The Influence of William Trost Richards

An early contributor to the annual exhibitions of the American Society of Painters in Water Color, William Trost Richards (American, 1833 – 1905) helped raise the profile of the medium significantly in the United States. Here, his radiant sunset depiction of island-studded Lake Squam from Red Hill in New Hampshire hints at his admiration for the stunning sky paintings of New York oil painter Frederic Church. Although Richards’ small-scale landscapes are the nearest counterpart in watercolor to the paintings of his idol and other contemporaries in the Hudson River School, he broadly rejected the romanticized and styled approach of the group. In contrast, his paintings combined topographical precision and strong design with a remarkable sense of light and atmospheric breadth to create meticulous factual renderings.


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