American Still Life Paintings

Online Exhibition and Sale


James Peale 
Still Life With Fruit, 1829, 1829 
(Oil on canvas, 20 x 26-1/2 inches) 
Spanierman Gallery, NYC
James Peale (1749 - 1831)
Still Life With Fruit, 1829, 1829
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26-1/2 inches

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Spanierman Gallery, LLC is pleased to announce the opening on January 19, 2010 of Still-Life Paintings, an exhibition of works by American artists dating from the 1850s to the present.   The exhibition includes over seventy works and is accompanied by a brochure with a text by William H. Gerdts, professor emeritus of art history, Graduate School of the City of New York and author of Painters of a Humble Truth: Masterpieces of American Still-Life, 1801-1939 (1984) and American Still-Life Painting (1967).  The artists represented include Thomas Hart Benton, Patrick Henry Bruce, Arthur Beecher Carles, Emil Carlsen, William Glackens, Claude Raguet Hirst, John Frederick Peto, and Severin Roesen.

As Professor Gerdts notes, still life was ranked at the bottom of the hierarchy of the arts from the seventeenth century well into the nineteenth due to the obviously fallacious notion that still-life painting was merely imitative of “the real thing,” and as such neither inspiring nor difficult to execute.  In the twentieth century, the realization of the appeal, the inspirational, the necessary technical mastery, and certainly the individuality of the still-life masters and their achievements were universally recognized, and still lifes have subsequently become treasured components of the arts in all nations, sought after by private and public collectors, some of the latter specializing only in that genre.


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