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Still Life with a Basket of Fruit

Artist
Severin Roesen, American (born Germany), 1816–after 1872
Date
c.1850–70
Material
Oil on canvas
Made in
Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States, North and Central America
Classification
Paintings
Current Location
On View, Gallery 337
Dimensions
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
Rights
Public Domain
Object Number
2:1970
NOTES
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]


Notes:
[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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