Untitled Document

Severin Roesen

(ca. 1816 - after 1872)

Artist Biography

With his ambitious still lifes, Roesen transcended the conventions of 19th century still life painting, forging an entirely new aesthetic that celebrated the abundance to be found in America at this time. The German-born artist arrived on the scene in 1848, at a time when the spare, rather austere Peale-type still life dominated the tastes of American artists and collectors. In a convergence of style and circumstances, the extravagant and highly detailed compositions Roesen created seemed to perfectly reflect the young country’s optimism and growing wealth. He introduced a new, lavish style that inspired students, followers, and imitators alike. Roesen is considered one of America’s preeminent still-life painters, and his crisply detailed, brilliantly colored compositions are some of the most complex and elaborate paintings ever produced in this genre.

Roesen’s works are represented in a large number of prestigious public and private collections, including The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY; the Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, TX; the Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT; the Newark Museum, Newark, NJ; the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington, DC; the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; the Baltimore Museum of Art,Baltimore, MD; the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, NY; the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania, PA; The White House, Washington, DC; the U.S. Department of State Diplomatic Reception Rooms, Washington, DC; and numerous others.