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Sketchbook: English Coastal Scenery

William Trost Richards

American Art

Richards was a prolific artist who, as a leading member of the American Pre-Raphaelites, embraced the Ruskinian principle of truth to nature. Sketching outdoors played a significant role in his quest for accuracy of representation. Throughout his long career and extensive travels, he seems to have always carried a sketchbook with him, filling the pages with drawings of the places he encountered. The Brooklyn Museum owns more than twenty-five of Richards’s sketchbooks, including the ones on view here. Serving as pictorial diaries of his journeys, they also demonstrate the variety of his working methods, ranging from quickly rendered outlines to carefully modulated tonal compositions to finished color studies.
MEDIUM Graphite and some watercolor on beige, medium thick, smooth wove paper
DATES 1878
DIMENSIONS Closed: 5 1/4 x 7 3/8 in. (13.3 x 18.7 cm) Open: 5 1/4 x 10 5/8 in. (13.3 x 27 cm)  (show scale)
CREDIT LINE Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION The sketchbook has 73 pages with several drawings at one end of book in watercolors; the remainder are in graphite. 1 Loose sketch of coastal scene 2 Hills, castle in the background. Inscribed lower left: "[L?S?]elant church / Sept 16' 1878" 3 Coast scene, inscribed lower center "St Ives Bay / Sept 16' 1878" 4 Loose sketch of coastal scene. Inscribed lower center: “Sept 16” 4verso Loose sketch of hills along coast – water in background 5 Loose sketch of grassy hills 6 Rocky coast line. Inscribed lower center: “Bay of St. Ives / Sept 16’. 1878” 6verso Loose rocky coast 7 Rocky coast, inscribed lower center: “Bay of St. Ives Sept 16th 1878” 7verso Coast and lighthouse (?). Lower center: “Sands of Ur[s?i?]bian St. Ives Bay / Sept 16’ 1878” 8 blank 8verso Hill, man with cart pulled by donkeys. Inscribed lower center: “Upton [T?J?owars?] Sept 16’ 1878 / St Ives Bay” 9 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower center: “St. Ive’s Bay / Sept 16’ 1878” 9verso Coast with boats. Inscribed lower center: “Hayle Sept 16 1878” 10 Loose sketch of hills 11 Castle amid trees. Inscribed lower center “Phillack near Halyle / Sept 16 1878” 11verso Town scene, church and cemetery. Inscribed lower right: “St Ives Sept 18 1878” 12 Town on rocky coast. Inscribed lower left “St Ives. / Sept 18 1878” 13 Town on coast. Inscribed lower left: “St Ive’s / Sept 19’ 1878” 14 Town on coast with boats. Inscribed lower center: “St Ives. Sept 18’ 1878” 15 Town scene. Inscribed lower center: “St Ives / Sept 18’ 78” 16 excised 17 Town scene with boats. Inscribed lower center: “St Ives Sept 18’ 1878” 18 Loose sketch of a building 19 Rocks and waves. Inscribed lower center “St Ives Sept 18’ 1878” 19 verso Loose sketch of water 20 Rocks and waves. Inscribed lower center “St Ives Sept 18’ 1878” 20verso Loose sketch of rocks 21 Rocky hills 22 Rocks atop hill 22verso Loose landscape sketch 23 Small scribble, illegible subject 23v Loose rocks 24 Loose sketch of a rocky hill 25 Street scene with buildings and cart. Inscribed lower center: “Bankers [M?H?]ill” / St Ives / Sept 20” 25verso Loose sketch of 3 male figures 25 Street scene with figures. Inscribed lower center “Sept 20’ 1878” 27 Sail boats moored with townscape in background and figures in foreground. Inscribed Lower center: “St Ives / Sept 20’ 1878” 28 Loose sketch of coast and town. Inscribed lower center: “Sept 20’ 1878” 29 House and mill, Inscribed lower center “Sept 20’ 1878” 30 Rocks. Inscribed lower center “Sept 20’ 1878” 31 Rocky hill on coast. Inscribed lower Right “Sept 20 1878” 32 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower center: “Sept 20’ 1878” and lower right: “Near St Ives” 32verso Loose sketch of rocky coast 33 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower right “Sept 20’ 1878” 34 Coast. Inscribed lower right: “Sept 20th [1]878 / St Ives.” 34verso Light sketch of cathedral tower 35 Townscape along coast. Inscribed lower left: “St Ives / Sept 24’ 1878” 36 Street and harbor scene. Inscribed lower left: “St. Ives Sept 23 ‘78” 37 Street scene. Inscribed Lower center “St Ives Sept 24 1878” 38 Harbor scene. Inscribed lower right “The [?]uay. St Ives / Sept 24 1878” 39 Baskets, figure with basket. Inscribed lower center: “St Ives Sept 24 ‘1878” 39verso loose sketch of a male figure 40 Loose sketch of fishermen working in harbor and a man with two horses. Inscribed lower center “Sept 24’ 1878” 40verso Loose sketch of rocks 41 Loose sketch of houses. Inscribed lower right: “Sept 24 1878” 42 Loose landscape sketch. Inscribed lower left: “Sept 25’ 1878” 42verso Loose landscape sketch 43 Loose landscape sketch 44 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower left: “Sept 27” 45 Rocky peak. Inscribed lower left “Sept 29th” 45veso Loose sketch of rock 46 Loose sketch of rocks. Inscribed lower left “Sept 29” 46verso Loose sketch of rocks 47 Loose sketch of rocks. Inscribed lower right “Sept 28th” 47verso Loose sketch of rocks 48 Rocks and water. Inscribed lower left: “Sept 29th” 48verso Loose light sketch of rocks 49 Rocks on water/coast. Inscribed lower left: “Sept 29:” 49verso Loose sketch of rocks 50 Rocky cliffs/coast 50verso Loose sketch of rocky cliff/coast with far off town 51 Line outline of distant hills/cliffs 52 Rocky coast 53 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower center: “[Penovept?] Oct 1st 1878” 54 Loose sketch of a cathedral 55 Rocks on coast line 56 Rocks on coast line 57 Rocks on coast line 58 Rocks on coast line 59 Rocks on coast line 60 Rocky hills 61 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower right: “Oct 3rd 78 / [Raynanu?].” 61verso Loose sketch of a rocky hill 62 Rocks on coast line. Inscribed lower left: “Asparagus Isle-“ 62verso Loose sketch of rocky hills 63 Loose sketch of rocky coast 64 Rocky hills. Inscribed lower center: “Oct 5th 78 / [Raymanu?] Valley-” 65 Rocky hills. Inscribed lower left: “Oct 5’ 78” 65verso Loose sketch of a rocky coast 66 Rocky coast 66 verso Loose line drawing of rocky coast 67 Rocky coast 68 Rocky coast 69 Rocky coast. Inscribed lower right: “Oct 6’ 78” 69 verso Loose line drawing of rocks 70 blank 70 verso Watercolor of grassy and rocky coast 71 Rocky coast 71 verso Watercolor of rocky coast 72 blank 72 verso Watercolor of coastline. Inscribed lower center: “Upton Sand [Jowarrs?] / St Ives Bay Sept 17’ 1878” 73 blank 73 verso Loose watercolor of coast
MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
CAPTION William Trost Richards (American, 1833–1905). Sketchbook: English Coastal Scenery, 1878. Graphite and some watercolor on beige, medium thick, smooth wove paper, Closed: 5 1/4 x 7 3/8 in. (13.3 x 18.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 1993.225.7 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.225.7_PS2.jpg)
IMAGE overall, 1993.225.7_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2007
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RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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