William Trost Richards American

Not on view

This uncanny study, probably executed at the botanical garden of the Pitti Palace in Florence, anticipates by several years the conservatory and bower compositions that Richards made a specialty after he fell under the sway of John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites. Richards’s sketchbooks of his first trip abroad, in 1855, are full of broad landscape scenery, architecture and statuary, but at the Pitti Palace he dwelt for several days on palms, banana leaves, philodendron and other tropical species. Their intricate beauty alone may well have stimulated the artist, but his unprecedented taste for such motifs probably arose also from his admiration of the tropical landscape paintings of Frederic Church that he had seen recently in New York.

Palms, William Trost Richards (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1833–1905 Newport, Rhode Island), Graphite on off-white wove paper, American

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