Peaches and Grapes in a Chinese Export Basket
Oil on panel
17 1/2 x 14 1/2 in.
l.l. in black paint: Raphaelle Peale Pinxt / 1813
c. in ink: Raphaelle Peale Pinxt / oct.r 13th 1813 / Philad
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, Acquisition in memory of Ruth Carter Stevenson, President of the Board of Trustees, with funds provided by the Ruth Carter Stevenson Memorial and Endowment Funds
Raphaelle Peale hailed from a family of Philadelphia artists highly regarded as skilled portraitists, including his brother Rembrandt, whose portraits of the Washingtons hang nearby. Raphaelle, however, developed an affinity for still-life painting and, despite his father’s initial disapproval, persevered and effectively established the genre in America. This is one of his earliest signed and dated paintings.
The Peale family’s experimental farm featured heated greenhouses, providing Raphaelle with the luxury of painting fruits and flowers even when they were out of season. These peaches sit in a porcelain export basket, a costly item that signaled to viewers of the day the world of prosperity brought about by scientific developments and international trade.