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Sketchbook of English Landscape and Coastal Scenery

William Trost Richards

American Art

In the summer of 1878 Richards and his family left for a two-year sojourn in England. The artist’s first destination on his arrival was Tintagel, the legendary home of King Arthur, in Cornwall. The Cornish site was newly resonant with the publication of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s epic Arthurian poem cycle, Idylls of the King. Richards recalled that “our first sight of King Arthur’s castle was by twilight on a cloudy day,” an atmosphere in keeping with the romance of the place. The dramatic setting of the ruined castle and fortification, built on two cliffs high above the Atlantic that were separated by a spectacular chasm, would become one of Richards’s most popular subjects. Many drawings in this sketchbook record impressions from his first visit to Tintagel, capturing details of the site from various vantage points.
MEDIUM Pencil on paper
DATES 1878
DIMENSIONS 5 1/8 x 7 7/16 in. (13 x 18.9 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Sketchbook with 69 pages, depicting coastal and landscape scenes, including numerous sketches of Stonehenge, in graphite. Locations include: Boscastle, Tintagel, and Stonehenge. Inside front cover, small sketch of leaves/flowers p1 [recto] loose sketch of rocks [verso] sketch of rocks on coast p2 rocky coast, including sketch of industrial equipment [page excised] p3 loose sketch of rocky coast p4 upside down, rocky coast, inscribed at lower right "[Boscastle?] / from / [Trevalgno?]" and "Sept 22-. 78" p5 upside down, rocky coast, small boat, two figures. Inscribed lower left, "Boscastle Headlands / Sept 22nd 78" p6 upside down, rocky coast, boats, inscribed lower left "Boscastle Harbor / Sept 22' 78" p7 [recto] upside down, rocky coast. Inscribed lower center "From [Rug Arham?] Castle - Sept 22' 1878" [verso] loose sketch of rocks p8 upside down, rocky cliffs, inscribed lower left, "[Tintagell?] / Sept 22' 1878" p9 upside down, loose sketch of rocky cliffs p10 upside down, rocky cliffs and turbulant water. Inscribed lower left, "[Tintagell?] / Sept 22' 1878" p11 oriented sideways , rocky cave with water. Inscribed upper left (sideways) "Tintagell / Sept 22' 1878" p12 Rocky cliffs, industrial equipment. Inscribed lower right, "Tintagell Sept 22. 1878" p13 orientation illegible, loose sketch of rocks p14 [recto] rocky cliffs. inscribed lower left "Tintagell Sept 22' 1878" [verso] oriented sideways, rocky cliffs, inscribed at left "Tintagell Sept 22' 1878" p15 [recto] oriented sideways, rocky cliffs [verso] Valley, inscribed lower left, "Sept 20' 1878 / The Valley Tintagel." p16 [recto] oriented sideways. Loose sketch of rocky cliff. Inscribed at left, "Tintagel / Sept 22' 1878" [verso] Rocky cliff/valley. Outline of buildings/city wall at upper left. p17 [recto] loose line sketch of hills/cliffs [verso] rocky cliffs. Small section marked off by graphite "frame"/lines with small sketch of rocky hillside. p18 [recto] hillside with ocean? in background. Inscribed lower center, "Tintagel Sept 23' 78" [verso] loose sketch of hillside with industrial equipment. p19 hillside with industrial equipment p20 rocky cliffs/coast, a boat on the water. Inscribed at lower left, "Tintagel Castle / Sept 23' 78" p21 [recto] coast line. Inscribed lower center, "Sept 2[3?] ' 1878 / Tintagel" [verso] small line sketch of castle or city wall p22 [recto] Sloping hills, cliffs, some structures at top. Inscribed lower left, "Tintagel / Sept 23' 1878" [verso] rocky hillside, some industrial equipment p23 rocky cliff/coastline. Inscribed lower left, "[Trebarisle Sands?] / Sept 23' 1878" p24 blank p25 [recto] rocky cliff/coast, inscribed lower left "[Torbarisle Sands?] / Sept 23' 1878" [verso] cloud study. p26 Rocky coast, inscribed lower center, "[Trebarisle Strand?] / Sept 23' 1878" p27 [recto] harbor scene, with city, boats, figures in foreground. Inscribed lower right, "Mt [Edgecombe?]" [verso] loose, incomplete sketch of hill with building on top? p28 [recto] Harbor scene. Inscribed lower right, "[Plymouth?] . Oct'78" [verso] small incomplete sketch of building? p29 [recto] harbor scene [verso] scribbles, possibly ground/grasses p30 small loose/light landscape sketch, unknown subject p31 [recto] tree studies [verso] loose sketch of trees in foreground, a building in background. p32 trees p33 very loose sketch of Stonehenge p34 Stonehenge from a distance p35 [recto] Stonehenge [verso] Stonehenge p36 Stonehenge p37 horizon line, scribble p38 Stonehenge p39 Stonehenge p40 Study of a rock/stone (probably part of Stonhenge) p41 Panoramic landscape, with trees and open fields p42 Panoramic landscape, with trees and open fields. Figure in foreground. Inscribed lower left, "Salisbury Plain" p43 [recto] outline of tree [verso] Line of trees p44 [recto] trees and sprawling field [verso] trees and sprawling field. p45 loose sketch of trees and sprawling field. p46 Forest interior p47 scribble p48 Forest interior p49 blank p50 Seascape p51 Seascape with single boat p52 upside down, partial figure (very small sketch) p53-p68 blank p68 [verso] small landscape with house surrounded by few trees [page excised] p69 [recto] blank [verso] loose sketch of forest interior. Inside back cover, oriented upside down, light landscape sketch. Inscribed lower left, "From [Bodnan to?] Tintagel"
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Trost Richards (American, 1833–1905). Sketchbook of English Landscape and Coastal Scenery, 1878. Pencil on paper, 5 1/8 x 7 7/16 in. (13 x 18.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 75.15.3 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 75.15.3.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 75.15.3.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
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