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Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.

Still life painting of strawberries, nuts, lemon, and porcelain vessels.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Still life painting of strawberries, nuts, lemon, and porcelain vessels.

Date:

1822

Artist:

Raphaelle Peale
American, 1774–1825

About this artwork

During Raphaelle Peale’s time, still life was not esteemed by most artists, relegated to the bottom of the hierarchy of painting subjects. Yet Peale ignored its low status and is now acknowledged as America’s first professional still-life painter and leading practitioner of the genre. Born into an artistic Philadelphia family, Raphaelle was the eldest son of Charles Willson Peale and the nephew of James Peale, both artists; his siblings were, like him, named after famous old master painters (he had brothers named Rembrandt, Titian, and Rubens). Characterized by crisp forms and serenely balanced compositions, most of Peale’s still lifes portray food, crockery, and glassware arranged on a plain shelf, parallel to the picture plane. In this particularly fine example, the rhythmic balance of fruit, nuts, and Chinese export porcelain is enlivened by the diagonal branch of grapes becoming raisins and an orange leaf. These objects are brightly illuminated against a bare, dark background in the manner of the dramatic still-life compositions of 17th-century painters such as Juan Sánchez Cotán. Peale may have seen the Spanish artist’s work when it was shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1818.

On View

Arts of the Americas, Gallery 169

Artist

Raphaelle Peale

Title

Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.

Origin

Philadelphia

Date

1822

Medium

Oil on wood panel

Inscriptions

Signed, lower right: "Raphaelle Peale/1822"

Dimensions

41.1 × 57.8 cm (16 3/16 × 22 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field

Reference Number

1991.100

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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