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Peter Blume
Vegetable Dinner
1927
oil
25 1/4 x 30 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum



At first glance Blume's painting seems an informal, if unconventional, still life. But the uptilted table and figures cut off at the edges of the painting signal a modern, almost surreal approach. Several details—the way the smoker's eye just aligns with the landscape outside or the way the vegetable peeler's knife is poised at the thumb—reveal an underlying tension in this domestic scene.