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Sketchbook of American and Italian Subjects

William Trost Richards

American Art

Richards first traveled to Europe in 1855, remaining abroad for a year and spending most of the time in Italy. Like so many artists before him, Richards was overjoyed to be in Florence: “I have not as yet realized that I am in Italy that all the dreams of a boyhood are fulfilled.” Richards carried this small sketchbook on a walking tour in the Apennine mountains in October 1855. The carefully drawn vista shown here of the broad valley through which the Arno river winds reminded Richards, always quick to compare American and European landscape scenery, of the view of the Hudson from the Catskill Mountain House.
MEDIUM Sketchbook containing drawings in graphite on wove paper
DATES 1855-1856
DIMENSIONS 4 1/16 x 6 5/8 x 3/8 in. (10.3 x 16.8 x 1 cm)  (show scale)
SIGNATURE Signed, in graphite, page 1 upper right: "William T Richards / Philadelphia".
INSCRIPTIONS (See Description field)
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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CAPTION William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905). Sketchbook of American and Italian Subjects, 1855-1856. Sketchbook containing drawings in graphite on wove paper, 4 1/16 x 6 5/8 x 3/8 in. (10.3 x 16.8 x 1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 75.15.2
IMAGE page, CUR.75.15.2_page16_recto.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Sketchbook with 32 pages of drawings in graphite of landscape subjects, and a few buildings and figures; most pages are off-white with a few tan and gray pages interleaved; book has black covers with embossed serpentine pattern and gilded decoration on spine and "ALBUM" on front. Inside front cover: sketch of figure and rock (?), inscribed upper left "80 Teillerc $ [illegible] / 4 x 6 ½ [o/2] each" p. 1: a few scribbles and mathematical calculation, signed upper right "William T. Richards / Philadelphia" p. 2: [recto] landscape, inscribed lower left "June 21st"; [verso] rough sketch of figure on path in landscape. p. 3: blank p. 4: landscape with mountains and lake (continues onto part of p. 3 verso), inscribed lower left "June 21st". p. 5: [recto] landscape of hills with cabins, inscribed lower left "June 21st"; [verso]: rough sketch of hills p 6: [recto] panoramic landscape of boats on lake surrounded by mountains, inscribed lower left, "June 21st"; [verso] sketch of building exterior with arched door and elaborately framed windows p. 7: rough landscape sketch p. 8: [recto] landscape sketch; [verso] very rough sketch of mountains p. 9: [recto] hills; [verso] sketch of town in valley p. 10: [recto] very rough sketch of rock; [verso] landscape with trees and rocks (upside down) p. 11: rough sketch of trees p. 12: [recto] landscape with trees; [verso] head of man in profile p. 13: [recto] landscape with trees and building; [verso] bell tower p. 14: [recto] rough sketch of rocks; [verso] rocks p. 15: rocks along coast p. 16: [recto] rough sketch of landscape with mountains; [verso] church interior (upside down). p. 17: blank p. 18: very rough landscape sketch p. 19: landscape with buildings on mountaintops, inscribed upper right: "San Pietro a Quintole / monti [ant?]" p. 20: landscape with hills and valley p. 21: [recto] rough landscape sketch; [verso] rough sketch of hills (upside down) p. 22: [recto] rough sketch of hills; [verso] very rough sketch of hills. [Page torn out between remaining pages 22 and 23.] p. 23 [tan paper]: [recto] blank; [verso] rough sketch of branches (upside down). p. 24: [recto] very light and sketchy landscape forms; [verso] rocks (upside down). p. 25 [gray paper]: small sketch of boat (upside down) p. 26 [gray paper]: blank p. 27: [recto] blank; [verso] faint landscape sketch (upside down). p. 28: [recto] sketch of village with aqueduct and hills and trees; [verso] sketch of a stand of trees with color notations, from top to bottom and left to right: "yellow / [?]", "olive", "russet", "yellow / grey", "yellow", "grey", "purple", "grey-[green]", "yellow green [?]", "umber", "white" p. 29: [recto] rough landscape sketch; [verso] rough sketch of a stand of trees with inscription below "green opposed [?] red / [shadow?] to ['gr' struck through] orange / yellow and green" p. 30: [recto] sketch of hilltops; [verso] mathematical calculations at upper left p. 31: [recto] beginning outline of mountain (upside down); [verso] panoramic view of hills and valley p. 32 [tan paper]: blank Inside back cover: sketch of cabin and hills
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