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Artwork of the Month - June 2007


At Icart Point, Guernsey

Artist: William Trost Richards (1833-1905)
Medium: Oil on board
Status: Permanent collection
Item No.: GMAG 2001.141

About the Artist

William Trost Richards was born in Philadelphia in 1833. He studied at the studio of the German-born painter Paul Weber at the Pennsylvanian Academy of the Fine Arts. Weber was associated with the the Hudson River School, an American 'Romantic' art movement inspired by the American wilderness. Many of these artists used exaggerated light effects in their work, which also led to a school of painting known as Luminism.

Richards was influenced by Weber and is himself strongly linked with both The Hudson River School and Luminism. He was also one of the first American artists whose work was influenced by the British Pre Raphaelite movement.

Initially he was mostly recognized for his landscapes, but around 1867 he started to turn to the sea and coastline for inspiration. We can see his skill at depicting the light, movement and drama of the sea in 'At Icart Point, Guernsey' which would have been painted on one of Richards' visits to the island in 1899 or 1902. Richards traveled throughout Europe seeking inspiration for his art, but ultimately returned to the U.S. He died in Newport, Wisconsin in 1905.

Richards' work can be seen in some of the most prestigious galleries and museums in North American such as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Richards also received the greatest of accolades when his American drawings were the first to be acquired by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.