Stretcher: 113 x 142.9 x 3.8cm (44 1/2 x 56 1/4 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 127.5 x 158.3 x 4.3cm (50 3/16 x 62 5/16 x 1 11/16")
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Trained in Paris at the École des Beaux-Arts, Henry Hobson Richardson became America's leading architect in the late 1800s. He designed a wide range of structures, including churches, railroad stations, department stores, courthouses, libraries, and private homes. Best known today for Trinity Church in Boston, Massachusetts, Richardson fused the Romanesque style of medieval France with the picturesque style popular in England and the United States.
In this portrait, British artist Hubert von Herkomer found his sitter's girth, accentuated by the rounded pitcher in the background, an ideal metaphor for his character. During the sittings, Herkomer noted that Richardson was "as solid in his friendship as in his figure. Big-bodied, big-hearted, large-minded, full-brained, loving as he is pugnacious." An admirer of Herkomer's work, Richardson created plans for the artist's country house as payment for the likeness.
Mrs. Henry H. Richardson III [d. 2008]; her children Heidi, Henry, Juliet and Lily Richardson; purchased 2009 NPG