Lines and Colors art blog

Eye Candy for Today: William Rickarby Miller apples

Still Life - Study of Apples, William Rickarby Miller
Still Life – Study of Apples, William Rickarby Miller

I’ve linked here to a version of this image on The Athenaeum. The original is in the de Young museum in San Francisco. There is a high resolution version on the Google art Project, and a downloadable high resolution image on Wikimedia Commons.

The Google Art Project image, and the one on the de Young site, seem dark and over-saturated; the one on Wikimedia Commons seems too faded and desaturated. The one on The Athenaeum, which I suspect someone corrected before uploading, feels more natural to me. It is not as high in resolution, however.

I’ve used the Athenaeum version here for the top two images, and a version of the Wikimedia image that I’ve color adjusted to be closer to the Athenaeum version for the bottom two details.

I haven’t seen the original, which could well be closer in appearance to the darker versions.

Miller was a 19th century American painter, considered part of the Hudson River School. This simple, direct still life feels remarkably fresh and modern.


2 responses to “Eye Candy for Today: William Rickarby Miller apples”

  1. Apples dominate a great many 19th century still life paintings for a good reason. The middle and later parts of that century saw a proliferation of agricultural development to produce thousands — yes, many thousands! — of varieties beyond the three kinds to which most people are limited in local groceries today. A recent NY Times story details one man’s decades long quest to record the varieties, of which about 5,000 are still being grown today:

    1. Thanks, Daniel. I hadn’t thought about the varieties of apples influencing the visual appeal they held for artists at the time. Fascinating connection.