West Coast, South Island
1870, 390 x 650mm, Watercolour on paper
James Crowe Richmond had very little formal training in art. His daughter, Dorothy Kate Richmond, states that he was influenced by the works of John Sell Cotman, Thomas Girtin, Samuel Prout, Clarkson Frederick Stanfield, and J. M. W. Turner. His romantic landscapes reflect a keen awareness of natural beauty. He was perhaps limited by his insistence on topographical accuracy above experimentation with the medium of watercolour. His compositions tend to concentrate on the middle distance, which he covers with layers of underwash and which are sometimes over-detailed. He often suggests depth by a use of receding horizontal planes, which can give the finished works a feeling of stiffness. His best works convey a sense of calm, which places them firmly in the English watercolour tradition of the 19th century.
A more extensive biography is available on Te Ara The Encyclopedia of New Zealand.