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Image of An Italian Lake 4207



William Trost Richards


An Italian Lake

Creation Date



19th century


5 1/8 in. x 8 13/16 in. (13.02 cm x 22.38 cm)

Object Type


Creation Place

North America, American

Medium and Support

gouache on off-white wove paper

Credit Line

Gift of Miss Susan Dwight Bliss


Public Domain

Accession Number

Created in the year of Richard’s acceptance as a full member to the National Academy of Design, this work demonstrates the extraordinary subtlety of his celebrated works on paper. In a sweeping view across a yet unidentified lake in Northern Italy, towards majestic alpine peaks, Richards makes apparent what has drawn tourists to the region since Roman times: fresh, crystal-clear lake water, Mediterranean vegetation along the shores, and breathtaking mountain panoramas. With nuances of color--mostly blue and green--he recreates the atmosphere of an early spring morning, which is so quiet that the lake turns into a mirror. As one of the first American artists to subscribe to the pre-Raphaelite style, Richards took to heart John Ruskin’s plea for absolute fidelity to nature.

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