Flower Still Life with Bird's Nest
Severin Roesen, American (born Germany), 1816 - c. 1872
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Severin Roesen's lavish tabletop array is crowded with blooms from all seasons--topped by a crown imperial and including lilacs, poppies, daylilies, tulips, irises, roses, morning glories, and nasturtiums, among others--and reflects the mid-nineteenth-century American taste for scenes of natural bounty. Strong, dense flower forms at the brightly lit center balance with more sinuous, silhouetted stems that reach outward to the edges of the composition.
Roesen simultaneously elevated still life painting in America and charted a new direction for its practice. He spent much of his career working for local patrons in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, northwest of Philadelphia, but his influence extended across the country.