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Of the many fine artists who were drawn to Rhode Island’s Newport and Narragansett Bay region during the 1800s, perhaps no other has better captured the mercurial sea or “the miracle of color under a curving wave,”2 than William Trost Richards (1833–1905). Richards spent decades painting in and around Newport, and in a scenic area in nearby Middletown known as “Paradise.” His oil and watercolor seascapes created there and along the New Jersey and British coasts are considered among the finest ever produced. Richards embraced first the tenets of the Hudson River School, later developing a Pre-Raphaelite concern for closely observed natural details. As a mature artist, he combined this truth to nature with an interest in light and atmosphere, attributes that permeate the works he created in the Newport area in the 1890s.

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