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This charming landscape shows the old gothic bridge over the river Erme, near Plymouth in Devon. It was clearly a favourite subject with Richards for he painted it on several occasions, both in oil and watercolour. Richards could be said to have anticipated its appeal as a picturesque subject, for the rustic Ivy Bridge was later painted by numerous artists, including Paul Sandby and J.M.W. Turner.
Richards was a painter of theatrical scenery as well as of topographical views such as this. He was a founder member, and later Secretary, of the Royal Academy and was the god-son of William Hogarth with whom he occasionally collaborated.

September 2004