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Still Life with Fruit

1852 Severin Roesen Born: Cologne, Germany 1815 oil on canvas 34 x 43 7/8 in. (86.5 x 111.5 cm.) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Maria Alice Murphy in memory of her brother Colonel Edward J. Murphy, Jr. and museum purchase through the Director's Discretionary Fund 1981.114 Smithsonian American Art Museum
2nd Floor, East Wing


Gallery Label

Severin Roesen's still life celebrates an American harvest and the promise of more to come. The split pomegranate and half-eaten melon carry the seeds of next year's planting, while the glass of champagne invites a quiet moment of appreciation. Roesen was among many Germans who fled their country's political troubles of 1848. They brought with them a level of craftsmanship that found a ready market among Americans whose prosperity matched the natural abundance the artist captured here. These new Americans, whose dreams of democratic reform in Europe had been crushed, also brought to this country a liberal social conscience that played a significant role in the abolition of slavery.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006

Keywords

Still life - fruit - apple

Still life - fruit - berry

Still life - fruit - grape

Still life - fruit - lemon

Still life - fruit - pineapple

Still life - fruit - watermelon

Still life - other - container

Still life - other - dish

painting

paint - oil

fabric - canvas