June Woods (Germantown)
Oil on linen
framed: 47 x 40 1/2 x 4 in. ( 119.4 x 102.9 x 10.2 cm ) Overall: 36 x 29 x 1 in. ( 91.4 x 73.7 x 2.5 cm )
signature and date: lower right: "Wm. T. Richards, Phila 1864"
Richards's painting is listed with the title Germantown Woods in the catalog published by the New York Public Library, but research by Linda S. Ferber for her study on the artist in 1973 has revealed its earlier title of June Woods and earlier exhibition under that name. Richards always considered this one of his "most notable" paintings. Richards embraced the Hudson River School as a model early in his career. For a brief time in the early 1860s, however, he altered his technique and compositional approach in response tot the Pre-Raphaelite aesthetics of the English critic John Ruskin. Ruskin's call for absolute fidelity to nature manifested itself in the United States in a radical group of artists who formed the Association for the Advancement of Truth in Art to which Richards was elected in 1863. The minutely detailed foliage ofthis scene near Richards's Germantwon, Pennsylvania home aligns this painting with the American Pre-Raphaelite movement, while the vertical format demonstrates his continuing allegiance to Durand's model for portraying the forest interior.
The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.