Tag Archives: William Trost Richards

#FineArtFriday: Indian Summer by William Trost Richards 1875

Indian_Summer_MET_DT276257Title: Indian Summer by William Trost Richards

Genre: landscape art

Date: 1875

Medium: oil on canvas

Dimensions: 24 1/8 x 20 in. (61.3 x 50.8 cm)

Collection: Metropolitan Museum of Art

What I love about this painting:

Richards has captured a singular moment of tranquility for us all to enjoy in these troubled times. A light breeze barely ruffles the surface of our pond. At the bottom right, two girls play beside a large boulder at the waters’ edge.

Across the pond, in the center and nearly hidden in the shadows, a teamster and his oxen wade across the shallows.

Autumn’s haze lends a feeling of mystery to the scene, muting the reds, yellows, and oranges of leaves about to fall. This last burst of grandeur can’t hold back winter, though it tries. Soon the forest will sleep, soon snow and ice will decorate barren limbs and ice will stop the waters’ gentle motions.

But beneath the grasp of winter, new life will bide its time, and winter will fade into spring. The seasons will follow their course, but today is autumn’s day to shine, to go down in a blaze of golden glory.

Richards paints a day of peace and serenity, a small pocket of time where one can just sit back and admire the beauty of our world.

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About William Trost Richards:

William Trost Richards (November 14, 1833 – November 8, 1905) was an American landscape artist. He was associated with both the Hudson River School and the American Pre-Raphaelite movement. [1]

1856 he married Anna Matlack Richards (1834–1900), a 19th-century American children’s author, poet and translator best known for her fantasy novel, A New Alice in the Old Wonderland. The couple had eight children, only five of whom lived past infancy. Anna educated the children at home to a pre-college level in the arts and sciences. [2]

One of the couple’s sons, Theodore William Richards, would later win the 1914 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Anna Richards Brewster, their sixth child, went on to become an important painter in her own right, having received an early arts education from her father as well. [2]

Richards rejected the romanticized and stylized approach of other Hudson River painters and instead insisted on meticulous factual renderings. His views of the White Mountains are almost photographic in their realism. In later years, Richards painted almost exclusively marine watercolors. [1]


Credits and Attributions:

Indian Summer by William Trost Richards, Wikimedia Commons contributors, “File:Indian Summer MET DT276257.jpg,” Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?title=File:Indian_Summer_MET_DT276257.jpg&oldid=678817431 (accessed November 3, 2022). Public Domain.

[1] Wikipedia contributors, “William Trost Richards,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=William_Trost_Richards&oldid=1089835304 (accessed November 3, 2022).

[2] Wikipedia contributors, “Anna Matlack Richards,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Anna_Matlack_Richards&oldid=1055684363 (accessed November 3, 2022).

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