William Trost Richards, “Cliffs at St. Columb, Cornwall” circa 1878-1880. 
Oil on Canvas Laid to Board 
42 x 31 inches / 47.5 x 38 inches framed
Signed Lower left
Original label verso, “Cliffs at St. Columb, Cornwall”

Provenance:  Artist to Private
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William Trost Richards
Cliffs at St. Columb, Cornwall

c. 1878

About

William Trost Richards, “Cliffs at St. Columb, Cornwall” circa 1878-1880. Oil on Canvas Laid to Board 42 x 31 inches / 47.5 x 38 inches framed Signed Lower left Original label verso, “Cliffs at St. Columb, Cornwall” Provenance: Artist to Private Collection, Philadelphia PA Thence by Descent This is an extremely important and monumental painting by the great American landscape and seascape painter, William Trost Richards (1833-1905) The painting has exceptional provenance and descended through one family over five generations, originally acquired from the artist. Richards' very best paintings are of the seascape, preferably including landmark locations with atmospheric and translucent lighting. This particular painting is one of his best, painted circa 1878-1880, including the artists hand written title label on the reverse. ------- Richards was born in Philadelphia on November 14, 1833 and he died in Newport, RI on November 9, 1905. He studied in Philadelphia with Paul Weber in 1850 and possibly at the PAFA ca. 1852 before studying in Florence, Rome and Paris from 1853-1856. He was a member of the PAFA (1853); Association of Advanced Truth in Art (1868); Royal Academy, London; National Academy (1871, honorary) and the American Watercolor Society. Work: Brooklyn Museum of Art; Cooper-Hewitt Museum, NYC; Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME; Metropolitan Museum of Art; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Brooklyn Museum, NY; Newark Museum of Art, NJ; Art Institute of Chicago; Terra Museum of American Art. William Trost Richards worked as an illustrator and as a designer of ornamental light fixtures for a Philadelphia firm that produced gas lamps, while studying privately the techniques of painting with German taught landscape-portrait painter Paul Weber (1823-1916). In 1852, he exhibited his first landscapes at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and in 1853 some of his romantic drawings appeared in the portfolio "The Landscape Feeling of American Poets." By 1855 Richards and marine-landscape painter William Stanley Hasseltine (1835-1900) sailed for Dusseldorf where Richards studied with Leutze and Albert Bierstadt, the latter of whom inspired Richards. After painting landscapes in oil in France and Italy, Richards married and returned to Germantown. Enthused by the works of Frederick Edwin Church and John Kensett by 1856, it was Church's use of light and atmosphere that Richards began to imitate and two years later he was painting outdoors. In 1866, Richards traveled to England and his focus turned from landscapes to marine painting. A year later a storm at sea caught the painter's attention and he began to study the structure of waves and how weather effects the sea and shore. In the late 1860s two notable art collectors gravitated to Richards's work: the Reverend Elias Lyman Magoon, who in 1864 sold his collection to Matthew Vassar for the newly constructed Vassar College Art Gallery and George Whitney, who gave Richards financial security. At the end of the Hudson River School era, Richards bought the first of many properties in and around Newport, Rhode Island (1874). Richards loosened his palette years later in the British Isles and the Channel Islands, where oftentimes he lightened his anachronistic palette to an almost green-gold overall tonality. Adorning the charm of solitude and the breadth of the sea, Richards peacefully painted on the island of Conanicut at Mackerel Cove until 1899. Few artists are able to paint the sea and beach as well as Richards. His wet sandy beaches are often littered with portions of shipwrecks or seaweed to show that a tide has come and gone or that a storm's fury has past and left its mark. The artist was adept at painting light coming through steep, lifting waves, the foam created when they slap to the ground and the reflective qualities surrounding them. Although Richards was a noted landscape and still life painter, he is best remembered for his incandescent shorelines.

Details

  • Artist
    William Trost Richards (1833 - 1905, American)
  • Creation Year
    c. 1878
  • Medium
  • Dimensions
    H 42 in. x W 31 in. x D 1 in.H 106.68 cm x W 78.74 cm x D 2.54 cm
  • Gallery Location
    Missouri, MO
  • Reference Number
    LU74735074781
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