Those who are not conversant in works of art are often surprised at the high value set by connoisseurs on drawings which appear careless, and in every respect unfinished; but they are truly valuable... they give the idea of a whole.
- Sir Joshua Reynolds
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
- Anais Nin
 

 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards

Posted by Charley Parker at 6:18 pm

A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards
William Trost Richards, one of America’s foremost landscape and marine painters (and father of American Impressionist Anna Richards Brewster), had a patron named George Whitney, who lived near him in Philadelphia and supported him not only by purchasing his works on a regular basis, but by helping to finance Richards’ travels.

While traveling and painting, Richards would send back to Whitney small watercolors, most roughly 3 x 5 inches (7.6 x 12.7cm), which he called “coupons”, partly as a thank you and partly as examples of compositions from which Whitney would choose selections for Richards to later develop into larger oils.

Most of Whitney’s collection of Richard’s work was split up after his death, but the majority of the “coupon” watercolors were kept together and were recently donated to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.

The collection is on display there in a special exhibition curated in collaboration with the Newport Art Museum, Rhode Island titled A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards. The exhibition runs until this Sunday, December 30, 2012.

The small watercolors are accompanied by larger watercolors and oils both from the Academy’s permanent collection and loans from other Philadelphia collections.

Though there is no special gallery for the exhibition on the Academy’s website, a search of their collection online will include all of the “coupon” watercolors as well as larger watercolors and oils.

The beautiful small watercolors, I’m happy to say, are actually shown in images that are a bit lager than life size.

2 comments for A Mine of Beauty: Landscapes by William Trost Richards »

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  1. Comment by Sharon France
    Wednesday, December 26, 2012 @ 9:03 pm

    These are lovely landscapes. I especially like the marsh scene with the cattails and birds.

  2. Comment by MJ
    Monday, December 31, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

    Man, these are inspirational! Watercolors never cease to surprise me in how expressive they can be in skillful hands.

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