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Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.

Still life painting of strawberries, nuts, lemon, and porcelain vessels.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • Still life painting of strawberries, nuts, lemon, and porcelain vessels.




Raphaelle Peale
American, 1774–1825

About this artwork

During Raphaelle Peale’s time, still life was not esteemed by most artists, relegated to the bottom of the hierarchy of painting subjects. Yet Peale ignored its low status and is now acknowledged as America’s first professional still-life painter and leading practitioner of the genre. Born into an artistic Philadelphia family, Raphaelle was the eldest son of Charles Willson Peale and the nephew of James Peale, both artists; his siblings were, like him, named after famous old master painters (he had brothers named Rembrandt, Titian, and Rubens). Characterized by crisp forms and serenely balanced compositions, most of Peale’s still lifes portray food, crockery, and glassware arranged on a plain shelf, parallel to the picture plane. In this particularly fine example, the rhythmic balance of fruit, nuts, and Chinese export porcelain is enlivened by the diagonal branch of grapes becoming raisins and an orange leaf. These objects are brightly illuminated against a bare, dark background in the manner of the dramatic still-life compositions of 17th-century painters such as Juan Sánchez Cotán. Peale may have seen the Spanish artist’s work when it was shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1818.


On View, Gallery 169


Arts of the Americas


Raphaelle Peale


Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &c.


Philadelphia (Place depicted)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on wood panel


Signed, lower right: "Raphaelle Peale/1822"


41.1 × 57.8 cm (16 3/16 × 22 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field

Reference Number


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