This post comes to us from Rena Tobey, Curatorial Intern.
Severin Roesen gives us a wonderful July 4th holiday gift with Abundance of Fruit, as beautiful, succulent, and enticing today as it was in 1860 when it was painted.
The painting, now on view in the Johnson Gallery, epitomizes everything still life paintings represented. Frequently used to decorate dining rooms, these paintings not only portray the wealth of the patron, but also the stability and prosperity of the nation as a whole. Roesen’s work is stuffed full of every fruit available domestically in 1860, whether or not it was in season. The painted plenty spills over the table that can barely contain such luxuriousness, ready to tumble into our lap.
As we celebrate America’s birthday, no doubt many of us will include juicy grapes and watermelon, tangy strawberries and blackberries, luscious summer-ripe peaches and crisp plums in our picnic. Perhaps you’ll enjoy a day with puffy pink clouds in a deep blue sky and stretch out on verdant-green hills, just as Roesen shows us behind his opulent table.
All of us here at the Museum wish you an abundant, joyous holiday, full of celebration for personal and national bounty.