Autumn Sunshine

Media - 1978.68 - SAAM-1978.68_1 - 5109
Copied George Cochran Lambdin, Autumn Sunshine, 1880, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase, 1978.68
Free to use

Artwork Details

Autumn Sunshine
30 1820 in. (76.550.9 cm)
Credit Line
Museum purchase
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
  • Landscape — season — autumn
  • Landscape — plant — chrysanthemum
  • Landscape — weather — sun
Object Number

Artwork Description

George Cochran Lambdin painted this work while living in Philadelphia's Germantown section,an area famed in the late nineteenth century for its gardens. Lambdin turned his attention to paintings of flowers in 1870, probably inspired by the English Pre-Raphaelites, who believed that a closer study of nature resulted in paintings that were more spiritually truthful. In Autumn Sunshine, Lambdin did not use the traditional composition of a vase of flowers on a tabletop. Instead, his painting of potted plants on the floor of a greenhouse captures the flowers as they are still growing, creating a more natural image. The soft tones of yellow and pink emphasize the delicate texture of the chrysanthemum's petals, while the dead leaves, together with the thin vine in the background, enhance the feeling of having captured a fleeting moment in nature.