William T. Richards

(1833-1905)

William T. Richards was forced at the young age of 13 to drop out of school to help financially support his family. He worked as a design illustrator for a gas lamp company. However, Richards was able to return to his studies later and worked privately with Paul Weber in 1850. From 1853-56 he traveled through Florence, Rome, and Paris with fellow artists Paul Weber and William Stanley Haseltine. When he returned to America he settled in Germantown and married. For many years Richards was preoccupied with literary themes in landscapes and painted true to nature with accurate detail that reveals the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites. After a brief visit to Britain, Richards became increasingly more interested in marine paintings, for which he is best known. In 1874 he bought one of several homes around the Newport area. He painted around the Aquidneck and Conanicut area until his death in 1905. Richards worked outdoors as much as possible and incorporated grandeur, light and atmosphere in all of his painting.