William Trost Richards was one of the foremost proponents of the American Pre-Raphaelite movement. Meticulously faithful factual rendering was deemed essential, and throughout his life, Richards practiced this tenet. His views of the White Mountains are almost photographically identifiable, yet he imbues them with a delicacy and atmospheric quality that makes them extraordinarily beautiful. Richards was known to have used photography as an aid in obtaining his extraordinary realism. Though he was proficient with oils, many of his most appealing works are executed in watercolor.
Richards first publicly shown work was exhibited at the Bierstadt Exhibition in New Bedford, MA in 1858. In 1859 he painted The Great Stone Face. In 1872, 1874, and 1876 he produced a number of watercolor views of the White Mountains of consummate beauty, several of which were presented to the Metropolitan Museum of Art by the Reverend Elias Magoon.
Richards exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1861 to 1899. He exhibited at the Brooklyn Art Association from 1863 to 1885. Richards was elected a full member of the National Academy in 1871.
In his later years, Richards painted almost exclusively watercolors of the sea.
New Hampshire Scenery