Still life with fruit

William Hammer

Published by Danish, 1858
Condition: Near Fine No Binding
From Arader Galleries San Francisco (San Francisco, CA, U.S.A.)

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William Hammer (Danish, 1821-1889) Still life with Fruit Oil on canvas Canvas size: 23 x 29 Framed size: 33 x 39 3/4 Signed and dated l.r.: William Hammer 1858 Provenance: Private Collection, California; with Gerald Peters Gallery, New York; with David Lusk Gallery, Tennessee; Private Collection, Mississippi. The depiction of fruit in painting followed cultural, economic and scientific developments in Europe and dates back to the sixteenth century. Advancements in botanical knowledge, made by such scientists as Clusius, allowed for better fruit farming with new and exotic varieties becoming more readily available. But fruit had always been one of the last courses of the banquet and now with the rise of the merchant classes as well as the continued dominance of the landed gentry, more refined varieties, brought about by hybridization and special methods of cultivation, were demanded at the table. The ability of a host to provide such luxuries increased his standing in society and painters were quick to respond to the demand for depictions of these unusual fruits. In the Netherlands, still lifes were often imbued with a moralistic symbolism, insects and rotting fruit mixed with fresh to allude to vanitas, the transience of life. However, in other parts of Europe fruit still lifes tended towards a strictly objective description. It is in this latter category that the work of William Hammer can be placed. Hammer was born and lived his entire life in the Danish city of Copenhagen. He devoted his painting career to the depiction of flowers and still lifes, his work undoubtedly influenced by the famed Italian painter, Michelangelo di Caravaggio. The realism and luminist quality of his compositions allowed for the full appreciation of color and texture as shown here in the gnarled skin of the melon juxtaposed against the luscious pink interior of both the watermelon and figs. The fruit basket provides a pyramid-shaped composition which provides a beautifully and harmoniously balanced whole. This is an excellent example of the work of William Hammer, showing the very characteristics of his style for which he is best known. Bookseller Inventory # sf002739435fra

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Still life with fruit

Publisher: Danish

Publication Date: 1858

Binding: No Binding

Book Condition:Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Illustrator(s)

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