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American, 19th century, male.

Born 14 November 1833, in Philadelphia; died 8 November 1905, in Newport.

Painter, watercolourist. Landscapes, seascapes.

Symbolism.

Pre-Raphaelites.

William Trost Richards learned his craft in the studio of the German painter Paul Weber, and at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He travelled to Europe in 1853 and worked in Paris, Florence and Rome. In 1856 he settled in Germantown (outside Philadelphia) and painted landscapes, which he tried to make as faithful to nature as possible. Richards was one of the first American painters to adopt the Pre-Raphaelite style. His precisely executed landscapes link him to the Hudson River School and the Luminists. He built his reputation on his watercolours of coastal landscapes....

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Annette Blaugrund

(b Philadelphia, PA, Nov 14, 1833; d Newport, RI, Nov 8, 1905).

American painter (see fig.). In 1846–7 he attended the Central High School in Philadelphia, PA, but left before graduating in order to help support his family. He worked full-time as a designer and illustrator of ornamental metalwork from 1850 to 1853 and then part-time until 1858. During this period he studied draughtsmanship and painting with Paul Weber (1823–1916) and probably had some lessons at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, where he exhibited in 1852. The following year he was elected full Academician there. In 1855–6 he toured Europe with William Stanley Haseltine and Alexander Lawrie (1828–1917), studying for several months in Düsseldorf. Finding contemporary European landscape painting less inspiring than that of America, he returned to Philadelphia.

Richards probably read the first two volumes of John Ruskin’s Modern Painters (London, 1843–6) during the 1850s, for soon after he began to show an interest in geological subjects and spent the summers sketching in the Catskills, the Adirondacks, and the mountains of Pennsylvania (...