Blake Richmond is an intriguing figure. The son of George Richmond, he followed in his father's footsteps and became a successful portraitist. His sitters included Browning, Darwin, Gladstone and the architect of the German unification: Otto von Bismarck.
However it was his meeting with Leighton, on a trip to Italy in 1864, which augmented Blake Richmond's ambition to become a neo-classical subject painter. The Etruscan style of landscape - horizontal, elegantly sparse - also had a lasting influence.
In 1900-1 the New Gallery held a retrospective of Blake Richmond's work in London, including several studies that are possible candidates for the present lot: Beech stems, Box Hill (no. 191) and Beech and Box stems, Box Hill (no. 279), amongst them.
We are grateful to Simon Reynolds for his help in preparing this catalogue entry.