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June Woods (Germantown)

Object Name: Landscape
Date: 1864
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Medium: Oil on linen
Dimensions: Framed: 47 1/4 in. × 40 1/2 in. × 4 in. (120 × 102.9 × 10.2 cm) Overall: 36 x 29 x 1 in. ( 91.4 x 73.7 x 2.5 cm )
Credit Line: The Robert L. Stuart Collection, the gift of his widow Mrs. Mary Stuart
Object Number: S-127
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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.

Exhibitions:

"Selections from the Collection of The New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, January 1, 2001–June 15, 2002.

"The Course of Empire: Thomas Cole and the Hudson River School Landscape Tradition," New York State Museum, Albany, NY, August 23–November 30, 2003.

"The Works: Salon Style at the New-York Historical Society," New-York Historical Society, June 20, 2014–February 8, 2015.

"The Poetry of Nature: A Golden Age of American Landscape Painting," Brandywine River Museum, Chadds Ford, PA, March 19–June 12, 2016.

"The Golden Age of American Landscape Painting: Highlights from the New-York Historical Society Collection," Wichita Art Museum, KS, February 4–April 30, 2017.

"The Poetry of Nature: Hudson River School Landscapes from the New-York Historical Society," Allentown Art Museum, PA, September 29–December 31, 2017; Worcester Art Museum, MA, September 8–November 25, 2018.