STILL LIFE: A small selection of paintings of fruit and flowers
Exhibit Hours: By Appointment Only
"I want to conquer Paris with an apple." P. Cezanne
A very particular type of art connoisseur covets Still Life painting. For many art lovers, piles of fruit on a table or flowers in a vase seem trite and boring as an art subject. But artists over and over demonstrate the depth and versatility of still life to ply their craft.
Why was still life painting popular in Rhode Island? With the massing of economic wealth in Providence from the 19th century industrial boom, citizens grew in cultural sophistication and sought to emulate their European peers. A still life painting in one’s house symbolized cultural sensitivity of an educated household and it’s wealth. Who could afford that imported orange on the costly lace tablecloth sitting atop the fine cherry table? The painting said it all for the “well off” and for local Providence artists like George Whitaker, Emma Swan and Rebecca Greene this genre was an important source of professional artist income.
If you fast-forward in the art world from realism to impressionism or modernism, artists embraced the apple and rose with even greater enthusiasm. What better way to experiment with palette knife technique, filtered color or the picture plane than a peach, arrangement of apples, pottery bowls or vase of flowers? Gordon Peers and Florence Leif excelled in exploring multiple art techniques in still life.
Explore the many talents of artists who mastered the still life genre in this intimate exhibit.