William Trost Richards
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.
Graphite on beige, moderately thick, slightly textured wove paper
Sheet: 5 5/8 x 8 1/16 in. (14.3 x 20.5 cm) (show scale)
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.
Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
This item is not on view
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 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 72.32.12_PS4.jpg)
overall, 72.32.12_PS4.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
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