Still Life with Strawberries and Nuts, Raphaelle Peale
Raphaelle Peale, one of Charles Wilson Peale’s artistic (and artistically named) sons, was America’s first dedicated still life painter, pursuing the genre at a time when is was considered less than important.
Here his keen, calm observation revels in the different surfaces of the fruit, nuts, leaves, glass, porcelain and the simple wooden shelf on which they sit. I particularly love his deft rendering of the orange, delicately suggesting its texture in subtle touches.
Note the size of the strawberries in comparison to the hazelnuts and almonds. These are wild strawberries, not the bloated tasteless genetic monstrosities the industrial growers shovel into our supermarkets. (Who told the food industry we wanted giant fruit, anyway?)