One must make a distinction however: when dragged into prominence by half poets, the result is not poetry, nor till the autocrats among us can be “literalists of the imagination”—above insolence and triviality and can present for inspection, imaginary gardens with real toads in them, shall we have it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Artistic Interpretations - Still Life with Fruit - Severin Roesen

"Still Life with Fruit 1852 - Severin Roesen  iPhone image by M. Bednar
Welcome to the 19th Artistic Interpretations.  Today I present "Still Life with Fruit" oil on canvas by Severin Roesen in 1852.  He was born in Cologne, Germany in 1815 and died after 1872.

Roesen's still life celebrates an American harvest and the promise of future abundance.   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 drive to abolish slavery.

Roesen is recognized as one of America's preeminent still-life painters, and several of his meticulously detailed paintings are also included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art's American Wing.  One hundred years after his death, his work was introduced to a wider audience when First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, hung several of his pairings in the White House.

Roesen adopted creative liberties with arrangements of fruits and flowers that betray their life cycle; many of his subjects in fact bloom and ripen at opposing seasons.  These impossible curations reflect a prevailing sentiment:  In an age of American prosperity and hope, anything was possible.

This painting is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  I was quite awed by the beauty of it - found myself entranced by the rich details.   This is what I offer today - the details.  Please select a photo below (I took them with my iPhone) or the whole image, above, and prepare either a new poem or one re-worked.  By all means, feel free to venture far from the above explanation of the painting.

If these particular images do not inspire you, I give you leeway to google and seek an image of Roesen's that does.  HERE is a link from the New Britain Museum of Art featuring "Fruit and Wine Glass" - 1870.

As always, please link up with Mr. Linky below.  Friday is often a hectic day, so feel free to submit late and remember that Monday is "Open Link" here in the Garden.

I am looking for your artistic interpretation.

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen

detail of "Still Life with Fruit" 1852 - Severin Roesen


Mama Zen said...

So rich and beautiful! Wow!

Marian said...

Yowza, Margaret.

Björn Rudberg said...

Love the details.. so much to pick out there.. I went a little abstract with this one...

Magaly Guerrero said...


Kerry O'Connor said...

This is a remarkable work of art - each detail an exquisite part of the whole.

Anonymous said...

These are beautiful, Margaret. Thanks. K.

Susie Clevenger said...

Beautiful art Margaret.

Anonymous said...

Just beautiful, Margaret, The details especially so. Thanks! k.