In their precise accuracy and close-up format, these two sheets of botanical studies exemplify William Trost Richards’s commitment to the principles of John Ruskin, an English critic who promoted a “truth to nature” approach to representation. Always a prolific draftsman, Richards here delineated the forms of various plants and wild flowers with botanical exactitude. The artist’s concern for realism based on careful observation was in keeping with the Ruskinian notion that God is manifest in the tiniest details of the natural world.
Ruskin’s ideas influenced the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in England, as well as its American counterpart, the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art, of which Richards was a member.
This text refers to these objects: ' 72.32.9; 72.32.12
- Artist: William Trost Richards, American, 1833-1905
- Medium: Graphite on beige, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper
- Dates: August 1860
- Dimensions: Sheet: 5 5/8 x 8 1/16 in. (14.3 x 20.5 cm) (show scale)
- Signature: Unsigned
- Inscriptions: In artist's hand, in graphite: "Aug 1st 1860." at left center; "Aug 4th 1860" at lower center; and "white flower / green center" at upper right. Erased inscriptions (now illegible) at lower center and lower right.
- Collections:American Art
- Museum Location: This item is not on view
- Accession Number: 72.32.12
- Credit Line: Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
- Rights Statement: No known copyright restrictions
- Caption: William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905). Plant Study, August 1860. Graphite on beige, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper, Sheet: 5 5/8 x 8 1/16 in. (14.3 x 20.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 72.32.12
- Record Completeness: Best (86%)