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Architectural Panel: Still Life

Probably 1860-1872
Origin: America, New York
Unframed: 12 3/4 x 28 1/4in. (32.4 x 71.8cm); Composition: 10 x 25 1/2in. (25.4 x 64.8cm); and Framed: 14 3/8 x 30 1/8 x 1 5/8in.
Oil on wood
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1977.110.1,3
An oval woven basket of flowers is set on the ground at middle foreground. The surrounding areas are painted pale yellow shading to pale blue. The basket has a twisted upper and lower rim. At L in the basket is a large yellow lily; other flowers include bluebells, blooms resembling pink and blue anemones, a couple of fully opened roses, and a white morning glory. Green foliage is painted in abstractly behind the flowers. An unpainted border about 1 1/4-inches wide has been left all around the scene; the panel is rabbetted on the reverse. A build-up of paint at the edges of the painted section seems to indicate that the panel was painted while in place, i.e., while held in place by its architectural framing.
The 2 1/2-inch, white painted, cyma reversa frame is a modern addition.
Label:Still life paintings of all sorts were considered stylish decoration for use in parlors and dining rooms in mid-nineteenth century America. As with the other decorative panels by Hidley, the still life may also have been inspired by a published print source.
The scenic panel was once fitted into the architectural framework within a house, but the structure has not been identified.

Provenance:Walton (AARFAM's vendor) said the panel came from an upper NY state home but gave no details (letter of 10-11-1976).