Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Lago Avernus

Artist:
William Trost Richards (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1833–1905 Newport, Rhode Island)
Date:
ca. 1867–70
Medium:
Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on blue wove paper
Dimensions:
4 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (11.4 x 24.1 cm)
Classification:
Drawings
Credit Line:
Morris K. Jesup Fund, 2001
Accession Number:
2001.39
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 773
Lago Avernus is an early example of Richards’s work in watercolor. His interest in the medium was stimulated by the founding of the American Watercolor Society in 1867, about the time he departed for his second trip to Europe. The society would provide a forum for him and many other American artists to exhibit their works. Richards’s panoramic view of the volcanic lake above Naples was probably inspired by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775–1851), who painted the lake on several occasions and whose works he had seen in England. In his watercolors, Richards cultivated a meticulous style based on close study that was a counterpoint to the large oil paintings by the artists of the Hudson River School.
Inscription: [at upper left in graphite]: Lago Averno [?]
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