As an artist William Trost Richards traveled extensively up and down the eastern coast of the United States. Rejecting the overly romantic and stylized approach of such other Hudson River painters as Jasper Cropsey or Worthington Whittredge, Richards instead preferred to capture his seascapes with an extraordinary realism. Such exquisite Luminist renderings and atmospheric qualities are present in his works that they are reminiscent in refinement and subject to the works of such American greats as Francis A. Silva and Alfred Thompson Bricher.
From 1856 until 1867 William Trost Richards was best known for his still life and landscape paintings which were executed near his home in Germantown, Pennsylvania. Trained in metalwork and then as an illustrator his pictures were flawless and almost slavish photographic renditions of his subjects. It was in 1866 while studying abroad in England that Richards became fascinated with a storm at sea and began to study the structure of waves - their rise and fall - as well as how such a storm affected the water and the shoreline In the early 1870's, William Trost Richards returned from his studies abroad and purchased a summer home on Conanicut Island, just off the coast of Newport, Rhode Island. Here he began to turn his attention solely to maritime subjects and as a result he began to develop his true appreciation for the ocean. Living in almost complete isolation with continuous access to the sea, Richards completed numerous paintings. It is these marine seascapes for which Richards is best remembered today and which make him one of America's truly great artists.
New England Coast, oil on panel, 16 3/4 x 20 3/4 inches
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