Severin Roesen painted so masterfully that his still lifes could make a viewer hungry, with every grape glistening jewel-like and every slice of melon ripe and inviting. It seemed fitting, then, to tempt the palate with his "Still Life with Fruit" on this Thanksgiving Day, when celebrations of family, friends and good fortune convene over tables filled with good things to eat.
The Thanksgiving greeting at the top of today's Page A-1 incorporates a detail of the circa 1854-55 painting, reproduced here in full.
"Still Life with Fruit" is one of two paintings by the artist in the Carnegie Museum of Art collection. It can be viewed in Gallery 3 when you're visiting the Neapolitan presepio (which goes on display Friday through Sunday and Nov. 29 to Jan. 6) or the Carnegie Trees, this year inspired by the World's Fairs (Nov. 29 to Jan. 6).
Roesen was active between approximately 1847 and 1872. He is thought to have been born in Cologne, Germany, date unknown, and to have died in the early 1870s. What is known is that his bountiful, botanically correct compositions of fruit, crystal and flowers are as admired today as they were by the wealthy patrons who initially purchased them.