William Trost Richards 1833-1905

Bouquet Valley in the Adirondacks

  • 25 1/8 x 36 1/8 inches (63.8 x 919 cm)
  • Oil on canvas
  • Signed and dated lower right: Wm T. Richards / 1863. Phila
  • 1863

Why We Love It

Though Richards is best known for his powerful seascapes of the northeastern coast, his earlier landscapes executed in the tight manner of the Pre-Raphaelites demonstrate the incredible range of his ability as well as his extraordinary attention to detail. This spectacular picture is from his important Adirondack series, which he painted from small studies completed during his many trips there throughout the 1860s. These majestic depictions of American scenery effectively launched Richards’ prolific and highly successful career.

The Value

Richards interior woodland paintings, such as Bouquet Valley of 1863, are technical masterpieces. His attention to the finest details works in perfect unison with his ability to capture the whole scene.  The early date, size, and quality of this painting make it a rare and wonderful find.  An important work such as this belongs in any fine collection of Hudson River School paintings.

Artist Background

1833: Born in Philadelphia; 1846-47: Attended Central High School for Boys, but had to leave to go to work; 1850: Studied art with Paul Weber. Probably worked at Archer, Warner and Miskey; 1851: Took first sketching trip on the Brandywine River; 1852: Exhibited for the first time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA); 1855: Took sketching trip up the Hudson River to the Adirondacks; 1856-57: Traveled to Europe, where he visited France, Switzerland, and Italy; 1859: Began taking summer sketching trips to Atlantic City, New Jersey, the Adirondacks, and New England; 1863: Becomes a member of the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art, a group of artists very much influenced by the aesthetic theory of John Ruskin; 1875: Purchased home in Newport, Rhode Island, where he resided in the summer. Lived in Germantown section of Philadelphia during the winter; 1876: Awarded bronze medal at Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia; 1878: Traveled to England. Visited Cornwall; 1882: Spent first summer at Grey Cliff; 1889: Awarded bronze medal at Paris Exposition; 1891-1905: Traveled to Europe almost annually. Resided in Newport full time; 1905: Awarded PAFA’s gold medal of honor. Died.