Constance Coleman Richardson grew up in Irvington, Indiana, where her father was director of the Indiana State Historical Commission. After graduating from Laurel School in Shaker Heights, Ohio, Richardson was anxious to attend art school, but her parents thought she should receive a liberal arts education. The compromise resulted in her studying at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York for two years, and then at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where she met her husband Edgar Preston Richardson. After they married, they moved to Detroit where her husband served as director of the Detroit Institute of Arts for the next seventeen years. After Detroit, the couple moved to Delaware where Edgar Richardson became director of Winterthur Museum and then to Philadelphia where he served on the Board of the Pennsylvania Academy. During this time Constance Richardson maintained her own studio and painted landscapes, portraits, and genre subjects. Much of her work was done from sketches she made while traveling during the summer. Richardson was a prize-winning artist who exhibited widely in galleries and museums.
Richardson’s love of the landscape is apparent in Hot Sun. Here strong contrasts of bright sunlight intermingle with dark shadows, and lush green foliage. The dominant tree is stippled with light that peaks through its dark leaves. Rocks and tree stumps add a rustic element to this serene landscape, while the houses in the distance and the young boy seated on the stone wall add a human touch. Everything in this composition suggests a peaceful coexistence between people and nature.
Judith Vale Newton and Carol Ann Weiss. Skirting the Issue: Stories of Indiana’s Historical Women Artists, Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Society, 2004. ISBN-13: 978-0871951779