Monday, June 22, 2020

Seascape Sketchbook of William Trost Richards

William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905) filled this sketchbook with remarkably detailed watercolor studies of English coastal scenery. 


The medium is graphite and watercolor on beige, medium thick, smooth wove paper, 5 1/4 x 7 3/8 in. (13.3 x 18.7 cm). 

The Brooklyn Museum, which owns this sketchbook, says: 

"Richards was a prolific artist who, as a leading member of the American Pre-Raphaelites, embraced the Ruskinian principle of truth to nature. Sketching outdoors played a significant role in his quest for accuracy of representation. Throughout his long career and extensive travels, he seems to have always carried a sketchbook with him, filling the pages with drawings of the places he encountered. The Brooklyn Museum owns more than twenty-five of Richards’s sketchbooks, including the ones on view here. Serving as pictorial diaries of his journeys, they also demonstrate the variety of his working methods, ranging from quickly rendered outlines to carefully modulated tonal compositions to finished color studies."

3 comments:

Stephen and Nyree said...

The illusion of depth created in this piece in very well done. I have stared at this image off and on in between helping customers for about an hour and it's wonderful. I wonder what the original size was? This is clearly amazing work. The wet into wet passages are very good but the wet into dry and dry brush over the top is just awesome to see, not to mentioned how carefully composed the tones were laid to help create that illusion. Thanks for sharing this one.

Unknown said...

I wish someone would publish some of his sketchbooks. Other artists from that period too. A recent retrospective show of Edwin Potthast's art had digital reproductions of some of his sketchbook pages and they were wonderful to see! The artists of the late 19th, early 20th century had such wonderful drawing skills!

Christen said...

I just read a short Biography on William Trost Richards free here: https://archive.org/details/williamtrichards00morr
He was an increadiby dedicated artist who studied waves with a passionate enthusiasm. It reminds me of contemporary artist Edward Minoff and the beauty he captures in his seascapes and his study of wave anatomy as I have heard him describe it on podcast interviews.
https://www.edwardminoff.com/seascapeindex