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[AC] Mead Art Museum at Amherst College; [HC] Hampshire College Art Gallery;
[HD] Historic Deerfield; [MH] Mount Holyoke College Art Museum; [MH SK] The Joseph Allen Skinner Museum at Mount Holyoke College; [SC] Smith College Museum of Art; [UM] University Museum of Contemporary Art at UMASS Amherst


Maker(s):Peale, Margaretta Angelica
Culture:American (1795 - 1882)
Title:Still Life with Watermelon and Peaches
Date Made:1828
Materials:oil on canvas
Place Made:United States
Measurements:13 x 19 1/8 in.; 33.02 x 48.5775 cm
Narrative Inscription:  initialed at lower right: MAP, inscribed on verso of original canvas [transcribed onto lining canvas]: Anna C Peale / from Margaretta Peale / Dec 1828
Accession Number:  SC 1952:53
Credit Line:Purchased with the anonymous gift of a member of the class of 1952

still life; fruit

Label Text:
Margaretta Angelica Peale based with quiet still life on careful, precise observation, at a time when women artists often favored more sentimental still lifes or genre scenes. She shows the shiny wetness of the watermelon seeds and the drying edges of a grape leaf. An austere background, typical of her work, sets off the firm, luscious fruit.

Few women of Peale's era received formal artistic training or worked in the demanding medium of oil painting. Peale came from an illustrious family of American artists, headed by her uncle Charles Willson Peale, who was a painter, naturalist and founder of a museum of natural history. Her father, the noted still-life painter James Peale, taught her and her three sisters to paint. While Margaretta Peale produced a few portraits, she is best known for her still lifes, which she exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts from 1828 to 1837.

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