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Still Life with a Basket of Fruit

Severin Roesen, American (born Germany), 1816–after 1872
Oil on canvas
Made in
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Current Location
On View, Gallery 337
30 1/8 x 40 1/8 in. (76.5 x 101.9 cm)
framed: 41 3/16 x 51 3/8 in. (104.6 x 130.5 cm)
Credit Line
Friends Fund
Public Domain
Object Number
Tendrils of grapevine playfully coil around a profusion of grapes, peaches, watermelon, plums, cherries, strawberries, an apple, and even a bird’s nest that cradles three delicate eggs. Miniscule dewdrops reward careful exploration. Artist Severin Roesen created this painting as a feast for the eyes. Hung in well-to-do parlors and dining rooms, paintings such as this celebrated the nation’s abundant natural resources, a source of pride and optimism for the future. Bountiful resources were especially appreciated in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the German-born artist worked. This “Lumber Capital of the World” produced 350 million board feet per day, creating more millionaires per capita than any other city in the mid-19th century. It was hard for those Americans, whose wealth was increasing so dramatically in the decades before the Civil War, to imagine that such resources could be depleted.
- 1970
Wayne Arnold, St. Louis, MO

1970 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from Wayne Arnold [1]

[1] Letter from Wayne Arnold [dated March 11, 1970, SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Acquisitions Committee of the Board of Trustees, City Art Museum, May 25, 1970.
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