Untitled Document

Severin Roesen

(ca. 1816 - after 1872)
Still Life With Flowers - Severin  Roesen
Severin Roesen
"Still Life With Flowers", ca. 1862
oil on canvas
40 x 30 inches
Signed at lower right: Roesen
MME Fine Art Enlarge

Provenance:
Corporate Collection, New York


With imposing presence and sumptuous detail, Still Life With Flowers gives the viewer an opportunity to explore the intriguing paradoxes in Roesen’s work. Though individual flowers are depicted with an extreme degree of botanical accuracy, the overall arrangement was not painted from nature but composed by selecting from what scholar Judith O’Toole Hansen has called Roesen’s “mental inventory of flowers and fruits”. In this painting, Roesen creates an artificial yet highly pleasing arrangement by combining a specific set of his signature elements that includes the bird’s nest with three eggs; the vividly colored and softly rounded flowers; the transparent droplets of moisture on the flower petals; the corkscrewed grapevine tendrils; and the bunch of gravity-defying grapes that sit diagonally at the table’s edge, to name a few. The lavish arrangements in Roesen’s work ignore the logic of seasons by grouping together fruits and flowers that peak at different times of year, creating a sort of capricious natural world where the most beautiful blooms appear in their most perfect forms simultaneously—botanically impossible, but delightful to imagine all the same.


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