19th-Century German School Still Life With Fruit, Bird & Butterfly

19th-Century German School Still Life With Fruit, Bird & Butterfly

This highly decorative 19th-century German school still life depicts an arrangement of fruit with a bird and butterfly. It’s an accomplished piece with keen attention to detail. The artist is unknown but it’s possibly inspired by the 17th-century Hungarian-British painter, Jakob Bogdani (1658-1724).

Still lifes often evoke a deeper sense of symbolism when you consider the various elements. Since the 17th century, artists have used various techniques to convey a message or feeling. Here, we see the fruit arranged in a way that alludes to sexuality - it’s suggestive, borderline explicit. Consider the various forms, what do you see?

The inclusion of a butterfly is also an interesting one - a fleeting glimpse of nature’s beauty.

Housed within a later frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 29½” x 18½” / 75cm x 47cm
Year of creation: c. 1850
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Canvas relined. Frame with some light wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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