Lake Squam from Red Hill

Artist: William Trost Richards (American, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 1833–1905 Newport, Rhode Island)

Date: 1874

Medium: Watercolor, gouache, and graphite on light gray-green wove paper

Dimensions: 8 7/8 x 13 9/16 in. (22.5 x 34.4 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Gift of The Reverend E. L. Magoon, D.D., 1880

Accession Number: 80.1.6


Among the earliest contributors to the annual exhibitions of the American Society of Painters in Water Color, the Philadelphian Richards contributed significantly to raising the profile of the medium in the United States. The artist successfully wedded topographical precision and authority of design to a marvelous sense of light and atmospheric breadth, creating small-scale landscapes that are the nearest counterpart in watercolor to the paintings of the contemporaneous Hudson River School. The view of island-studded Lake Squam from Red Hill in New Hampshire was a well-worn tourist staple by the time Richards executed this radiant prospect at sunset. The picture hints at his admiration for the sky spectacles in oil of New York landscape painter Frederic Church.