Untitled Document
Conanicut Island - William Trost Richards
Sold William Trost Richards
"Conanicut Island", 1876
Gouache on paper
10 x 14 inches
Signed and dated lower left
MME Fine Art Enlarge

In 1882 Richards completed construction of “Graycliff,” his home on Conanicut Island, across Narragansett Bay from Newport. This painting, set on the same island, was created six years earlier. Here we can see Richards’ attachment to this spot, as he lovingly depicts the warm blue stone outcroppings, the golden grasses streaked with green, and the sheep grazing in between. There are minute details that bring life to the otherwise empty ocean: seagulls flocking at the end of the promontory, small figures on the beach off to the right, and the white sail of a boat to their left. Richards creates beautiful lighting effects on land, and in both the sea and sky. Conanicut Island is a place that, in Richards’ eyes, merited further investigation, and this work represents the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between artist and subject.

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