Melons and Morning Glories

Media - 1967.39.2 - SAAM-1967.39.2_1 - 2536
Copied Raphaelle Peale, Melons and Morning Glories, 1813, oil on canvas, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Paul Mellon, 1967.39.2
Free to use

Artwork Details

Title
Melons and Morning Glories
Date
1813
Dimensions
20 3425 34 in. (52.665.4 cm.)
Credit Line
Gift of Paul Mellon
Mediums
Mediums Description
oil on canvas
Classifications
Keywords
  • Still life — flower — morning-glory
  • Still life — fruit — watermelon
Object Number
1967.39.2

Artwork Description

Raphaelle Peale's father, Charles Willson Peale, urged his son to paint portraits instead of still lifes, which brought an artist less prestige and fewer commissions. But still lifes suited Raphaelle, who also worked as a taxidermist. He painted this melon as if it were a body opened up for examination, detailing its fluids and flesh so that the painting suggests life, fertility, and death, all at once.

Exhibition Label, Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2006