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Wine, Cheese, and Fruit

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




John F. Francis
American, 1808–1886

About this artwork

Succulent grapes, crumbling cheese, sparkling wine in elegant glasses, and cognac in tumblers are depicted in this opulent dessert picture by John Francis. Originally an itinerant portrait painter, Francis turned to still life in the mid-19th century when the availability of daguerreotype portraits rendered his trade obsolete. The penchant for household embellishment among the Victorian middle class created a lively market for still-life paintings, which were often hung in dining rooms. While spirits are featured prominently in this painting, the glasses that are less than half full and the presence of the water indicate balance and restraint, referring to the mid-century growth of the temperance movement, which promoted the ideals of moderation and self-control.


On View, Gallery 173


Arts of the Americas


John F. Francis


Wine, Cheese, and Fruit


Pennsylvania (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 canvas


Signed, lower right: "J. F. Francis/ Pt. 1857"


63.5 × 76.2 cm (25 × 30 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Charles C. Haffner III and Mrs. Herbert Alexander Vance; Wesley M. Dixon Jr., Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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