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Basket of Fruit

ca. 1845
Origin: America
Primary Support: 7 1/2 x 9 1/4in. (19.1 x 23.5cm) and Framed: 8 x 10 1/4in.
Watercolor on wove paper
Gift of the John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, Fund, Inc., through the generosity and interest of Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, 3rd, and members of the family
Acc. No. 1979.303.5
A small basket of fruits (and, possibly, an eggplant) on a green mound.
The 3/4-inch molded and gilded frame is probably original.
Label:The few freehand details and minimal shading in this theorem suggest that it was a beginner's effort. The oval basket resting on a green grassy mound contains a straight-forward arrangement of fruits, but their disproportionate sizes make identification uncertain. Colors and shapes suggest a peach, cherries, a green apple, strawberries, a plum, and possibly an eggplant, a vegetable rarely seen in nineteenth-century still life pictures. Here, its elongated purple profile is the focal point of the composition.
The Folk Art Museum's collection includes an almost identical composition on velvet (acc. no. 1931.403.7)[note 1].
Provenance:Acquired from an unidentified source by Holger Cahill January 31, 1935, for use by Mrs. Rockefeller at Bassett Hall, the Williamsburg home of Mr. & Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Given to C.W.F. in 1979.