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Still Life

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Still Life

Artist: Xanthus Russell Smith (American, 1839 - 1929)

Date: 1895
Medium: Ink on cardboard
Overall: 10 × 8in. (25.4 × 20.3cm)
Inscribed: Recto: l.c. artists signature and date in lower left of image and lower left of paper.
Credit Line: Museum Purchase
Object number: 2004.19
Label Text
Smith was the scion of a family of Philadelphia artists. He studied in that city at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and then in London at the Royal Academy. This intimate ink drawing of three humble objects, a wine bottle, pitcher and glass, is noteworthy for its charming simplicity and its absence of any narrative overtones or literary associations.

Historical American still life drawings are less common than landscape, figure and portrait studies. The documentation that Smith added to this work in the lower left corner makes the sheet that much more interesting. In addition to his initials and the year is a partially illegible word and number that probably reads "March 3."

Paul D. Schweizer
March 2006

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