Sketchbook: British Isles
William Trost Richards
In continual search of dramatic coastal topography, Richards embarked on another tour abroad in the summer of 1891 that included an expedition to the remote reaches of northern Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway in County Antrim is a remarkable geological formation of faceted volcanic rock (basalt) eroded over the ages by the action of wind, rain, and waves into huge, mostly hexagonal, columns that form a natural stairway from a cliff into the sea. Local legend attributed the site to the Irish giant Finn McCool, said to have wanted to walk to Scotland without wetting his feet. The more prosaic lava-flow explanation was put forward in 1771.
Graphite on white paper
Gift of Edith Ballinger Price
Sketchbook of 99 pages of landscape scenes in the British Isles.
p1 Lightly sketched panorama of coast
p2 verso - p3 Sketch of coast. Inscribed at lower center of p3, "The White Rodes. / Port [Rush?] / Sept 10/91"
p4 Sketch of rocks on a coast. Inscribed lower center, "Port Rush Sept 10.91"
p5 Sketch of rocks on a coast. Inscribed lower left, "Port rush / Sept 10' 91"
p7 outline of rocks and buildings atop rocky hill?
p8 outline of buildings atop rocky hill
p8 verso outline of buildings (same as pp 7 and 8)
p9 a single line
p10 outline of bulidings atop rocky hill
p10 verso, Sketch of coastal scene, inscribed lower left "Giants Causway / Sept 11. 91 / [Rovinhead?]
p11 verso - 12 Pages mostly smudged. Rocky coast, inscribed on p 12, lower right "Giants Causeway / [illegible] / Sept 11.91"
p12 verso Rocky coast, inscribed lower left "Chimney point / Giants Causeway / Sept 11/91"
p13 verso, Rocky coast, inscribed lower left, "light grey ->"
p14 verso, Rocky coast, inscribed lower left, "[Fran?] / Pleaskin / Giants Causeway / Sept 10/91"
p15 verso, Loose sketch of rocks/coast?
p16 oriented vertically, rocky coast, inscribed at lower right "Green" and vertically across right side "Pleaskin Giants Causeway -"
p17 rocky coast
p18 loose sketch, rocky coast?
p18 verso, rocky coast
p20 verso, study of rocks on coastal cliff
p21 verso - 22, Panorama of rocky coast, inscribed lower left of p21 verso, "Giants Causeway / Sept 11.91."
p23 Rocky coast, Inscribed lower right, "Chimney Point / Giants Causeway / Sept 11.91"
p24 loose sketch of rocky coast
p24 verso, loose sketch of coast line, possibly a boat on the water. Inscription within drawing is scribbled, possibly "[Causeway?]"
p25 Rocky coast, inscribed lower left, "amphitheatre / Sept 11.91"; inscription at far right is scribbled, possibly "[Cause?]" as in Causeway?
p26 sketch of rocky landscape
p27 loose sketch of cliff
p28 rocky coastline
p29 Loose sketch of rocky coast, inscribed lower left, "Sept 11, 1891 / Sea gull rock-"
p30 Rocky coast, inscribed lower left, "Giants Causeway / Sept 12' 1891"
p31 Rocky coast, inscribed lower right, "Giants Causeway Sept 12"
p32 loose sketch of rocky cliffs, inscribed lower center, "[???swick] Sept 12"
p32 verso - 33 Rocky coast, inscribed lower center, "[Carrick a rede?] / Sept 12/91"
p34 Loose sketch of rocky coastline
p34 verso, rocky coastline.
p35 rocky coastline
p35 verso - 36, Seascape, view of waves from coast. Inscribed lower left of p36, "[Strand?] at / Ballycastle / [illegible] / Sept 12.91"
p37 Loose sketch of rocky coastline
p38 Coastline/cliffs, inscribed lower right , "[Fairhead?] [Antran?] / Sept 13' 1891"
p38 verso, waves and coastline, inscribed upper left, "Ballycastle / Sept 14.91"
p39 verso, waves
p40 loose sketch of cliff
p41 cliff/coast, inscribed upper right, "Fairhead / Sept 13.91"
p42 Coast scene, with cliffs and a house
p44 linear sketch of coast and hills, illegible inscription
p45 Loose sketch of horizon with sun
p46 Shoreline, waves
p47 partial sketch of waves
p50 seascape with rocky coast
p52 in ink, seascape; small framed vignette at upper right of similar subject
p53 oriented vertically, seascape
p54 loose, incomplete sketch
p55 loose sketch of horizon line and clouds
p56 seascape, clouds
p57 loose sketch of horizon line, seascape, clouds
p58 seascape, rocky cliffs
[page 59 excised]
p60 seascape, with waves crashing against a rock
p62 seascape with rock
p87 verso, upside down, loose sketch of mountains
[p88 and 89 excised]
p90 Inscribed in ink at lower left with numerical calculations "4000 / 1500 / 2500"; and inscribed in graphite at upper right, "NF"
p90 verso, loose sketch of boat sails
p92 loose sketch of coastline
p93 loose sketch of rocky cliff/coast
p94 loose sketch of rocky cliff/coast
p94 verso, loose sketch of rocky cliff with buildings?
p95 rocky cliff with buildings
p96 mountainous scene with buildings and bridge.
p97 oriented vertically, loose sketch of castle on cliff
p98 loose sketch of coast
p98 verso, sketch of coast (same location as p98 recto)
This item is not on view
William Trost Richards (American, 1833-1905). Sketchbook: British Isles, 1891. Graphite on white paper, 4 3/4 x 7 1/2 in. (85 pages). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Edith Ballinger Price, 1993.225.5 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 1993.225.5.jpg)
overall, 1993.225.5.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2004
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