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Sketchbook, Newport Area, Landscape and Coastal Subjects

William Trost Richards

American Art

In 1874 Richards and his family spent the first of many summers at Newport, an old colonial town on the Rhode Island coast that was rapidly becoming a fashionable summer resort. Excited by the varied landscape and coastal topography of the region, the artist wrote to one patron: “I have made some new walks and discovered new beauties and believe that I could from Newport Scenery make more charming pictures than I have ever dreamed of before.” Many summers afterward would be spent “prospecting” for new subjects, filling sketchbooks like this one with studies for watercolors and oil paintings like Old Orchard at Newport, 1875, on display in the adjacent American Identities galleries.
MEDIUM Graphite on paper
DATES 1877
DIMENSIONS 4 7/8 x 7 11/16 in. (12.4 x 19.5 cm)
SIGNATURE See description
INSCRIPTIONS See description
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Sketchbook of 68 pages, featuring landscape sketches, and some studies of farm animals. Images primarily oriented horizontally, unless otherwise noted. Inside front cover, upside down, sketch of tree trunk and branches p1 Light sketch of rocky cliff Page Excised p2 Loose sketch of hills p3 sketch of hilly shoreline p4 hilly landscape with wagon in foreground p5 study of wagon wheels p6 panoramic landscape of hills. Inscribed lower left, "Oct 10' 77" p7 View of hilly shoreline from water or across water. Inscribed lower center/right, "Oct 16 77" p8 study of grasses. p8verso small landscape/grass study p9 Landscape sketch of a meadow. Farmhouse, trees, hay bails and windmill in background p10 Loose sketch of coastline p10verso rock study p11 Study of rocky cliffs leading down to shoreline p12 a few lines, primarily blank p13 Panoramic landscape sketch p14 Loose sketch of rocks p15 Rock study p16 Rocky beach. Inscribed lower center, "Beach [gray?]" and at lower right, "Oct 24'' 77" p17 Rocky beach. Possibly an illegible inscription at lower left. p18 Small sketch of shoreline p19 scribbles, possibly study of rock p20 Shoreline. Rocks in foreground with water and rocky beach in background. Inscribed at upper left "White" p21 Rocky shoreline p22 blank p22verso rocks p23 Rocky cliff looking down at body of water p24 Studies of trees p25 Studies of trees p25verso Loose studies of flowers and plants p26 Loose studies of flowers and plants p26verso Studies of sheep p27 Studies of sheep p28 Study of three trees and a sheep p29 Study of trees p30 Loose study of trees p31 studies of sheep p32 studies of sheep p33 horizon line, cloud study p34 Shoreline. Inscribed lower center, "Nov 1' 1877" p35 Shoreline. Inscribed lower center/right, "nov 1st 1877" p36 Rocky hillside. Inscribed lower center/right, "nov 1' 77" p37 HIllsides leading to shoreline. Inscribed lower center, "nov 1' 1877" Page Excised p38 Rocky hillsides. Inscribed lower center, "nov 1' 1877" p39 Rocky hill. Inscribed lower right, "nov 1' 1877" p40 Rocky hills leading to shoreline. Inscribed at lower right, "nov 1' 77" p40verso Loose sketch of rocks p41 Study of rocks. Inscribed lower right, "nov 1'. 1877" p41verso light sketch of hilly shoreline p42 Rocky hills leading to shoreline. Inscribed at lower right, "nov 1' 1877" p43 Studies of sheep and plants. Inscribed lower right, "nov 1' 77" p44 Rocky beach/shoreline p45 Rocky beach/shoreline p46 Rocky beach/shoreline p47 Loose sketch of rocky shoreline p47verso Loose sketch, scribbles. Illegible subject. p48 Rocky shoreline p49 Rocky shoreline p50 Rocky shoreline P51 Rocky shoreline p52 Study of rocks p52verso Loose study of rocks p53 Loose study of rocky shoreline p54 Oriented vertically, Study of trees p54verso Loose sketch, scribbles. Possibly tree/branch study p55 Landscape sketch with field and trees. Hill in background p54 Trees and field, with fence in foreground p54verso Page divided into two sketches, with line down middle. Both sketches of forest interiors. p55 blank p55verso Sketch of trees with bridge/tunnel p56 Sketch of bridge/tunnel p56verso Loose sketch of rocks and tree trunks p57 Loose sketch of rocks and tree trunks p57verso Loose sketch of rocks and tree trunks p58 Loose sketch of tree branch p58verso Loose sketch of forest interior p59 blank p59verso Loose sketch of forest interior p60 blank p60verso Loose sketch of forest interior p61 blank p61verso, small, loose sketch of forest interior p62 blank p62verso upside down, landscape sketch with house amid trees. p63 blank p63verso upside down, trees p64 blank p64verso upside down, loose landscape sketch p65 study of tree trunk and branch p65verso upside down, loose sketch of trees p66 upside down, study of tree p66verso, study of tree trunk and branches p67 small sketch of male figure Two Pages Excised p68 small, loose sketch of farm animal (sheep?) p68verso Two sketches of sailboats. Inscribed at left, "No 4-" Inside back cover, small landscape sketch, study of a sheep, some other scribbles.
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