Richardson, Thomas Miles
Thomas Miles Richardson (1813-1890)
Richardson was the son of the Newcastle landscape painter who goes by the same name. He was trained by his father and arguably became more successful than him.
His career began in his native Newcastle, with his first work being exhibited at the age of fourteen. His watercolour landscapes were achieving much acclaimed critical and commercial success by the 1830s. By this time, he had been sending his work for exhibition at the British Institution and the Royal Academy in London. Richardson used to run a private art academy in Newcastle along with his elder brother, George, a fellow artist.
He made extensive tours of Highland scenes, painted in the North East of England but views in the Swiss and Italian Alps were amongst his favourite subjects. Richardson had published a large folio of twenty-six plates in 1838 entitled as ‘Sketches on the Continent’. It included a series of landscapes featuring France, Italy, Switzerland, Holland, Germany among others. All these sketches were made during a tour in 1837. Eleven of these plates were lithographed by himself.
Being elected as an Associate of the Old Water Colour Society in 1846, he settled in London.
Richardson became a full member of the Society by 1851. He took part in part in the exhibitions of the Society every summer and winter, thus exhibiting over seven hundred watercolour paintings until his death.
Most of his exhibited works were made on a panoramic scale, including mostly the landscapes of the Scottish Highlands and the Borders and the Italian views. The later years marked paintings from the Alpine scenes of France, Italy, and Switzerland.
A contemporary had remarked that most of his history can be outlined from his exhibited drawings. They had even implied the various seasons when the artist was at home or abroad.
He was a skilful draughtsman and had a good eye for composition. He was fond of bright colours and used a quantity of white heightening.
He died in January 1890. The contents of his studio were dispersed in London in June of that year at an auction at Christie. A large group of watercolour paintings by the artist can be found at the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle, while there are several others in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.