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Painting of the Day, January 29, 2012

By Donna Poulton

Lee Greene Richards grew up in Salt Lake City on the same city block as such noted artists as Mahonri Young, John W. Clawson, and Alma Wright. Richards was among the first group of Utah artists who went to Paris for training. He studied at the Academie Julian in 1901 and then at the Academie des Beaux-Arts; a number of his paintings were accepted to the highly regarded Paris Salon.

Lee Greene Richards (1878-1950), Big Cottonwood Stream (1932), oil on canvas, 39-1/2 x 32 in. Credit: Springville Museum of Art Lee Greene Richards trained to paint portraiture in the academic style, using tonal colors of brown, gray and black. When his portrait commissions diminished with the advent of the Great Depression, he turned to landscape work. He also worked on projects for the WPA; they can be seen in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol. Painting landscapes allowed Richards to use broader brush strokes and the brilliant colors found in the imagery of the Wasatch mountains in autumn.

Richards studied with Utah artist James T. Harwood and once said that “I got as much from Harwood as from any teacher that I had afterwards in Paris.”

Read more about Harwood:

Painting of the Day, January 20, 2012

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