Skip to main content
  • Want more images or videos?
    Request additional images or videos from the seller
1 of 6

Robert Spear Dunning
An Arrangement of Fruit

1901

$38,000Asking Price

About

Robert Spear Dunning (1829-1905) An Arrangement of Fruit, 1901 Oil on canvas, 11 x 14 in. Framed dimensions: 20 x 22 ½ in. Signed and dated lower right: R. S. Dunning 1901 Inscribed on verso: R. S. Dunning / 1901 Provenance: gift from the artist to Mr. and Mrs. Frank Richardson, Hull, Massachusetts, 1901; William and Linda Vitale, Gloucester, Massachusetts, 1965-2005 A founder of the Fall River (Massachusetts) Evening Drawing School, Robert Spear Dunning displayed a precocious talent in drawing and painting at an early age. He was born in Brunswick, Maine, in 1829 and moved to the wealthy mill town of Fall River five years later. Before he began his formal studies in the arts he worked in a local cotton mill and then spent three years at sea. Upon his return, he studied with James Roberts in Maine before moving to New York in 1849, where he focused on figure and portrait painting under Daniel Huntington at the National Academy of Design. In 1853 he returned to Fall River, where he spent the rest of his life. Early in his career Dunning painted portraits, marines, landscapes, and still lifes. By 1865 he turned his focus to still-life painting, especially favoring arrangements of fruit and flowers. In 1870, Dunning and his friend John E. Grouard founded the Fall River Evening Drawing School, which was a remarkable feat in a town that sufferend from a lack of formal cultural life. Among those who studied or taught there were Bryant Chapin, Franklin H. Miller, Albert F. Monroe, Abbie Luella Zuill, and Herbert Fish. Because of Dunning’s efforts, Fall River became strongly associated with still-life painting during the nineteenth century. More then any other subject, still lifes afforded the artist thorough control of his or her work. Undeterred by the necessity of portraying likeness of face or locale, the painter could select, arrange, and hone his technique to suit himself. The style and characteristics of Dunning’s work were isolated from the trends of trompe l’oeil and the use of looser brushwork. William Gerdts and Russell Burke described a typical painting by Dunning: The fruit is lusciously rendered, with a convincing suggestion of textures…and the tabletop support is always highly polished to reflect the multitude of objects upon it. The edge of the tabletop is almost parallel to the picture plane and is almost always elaborately carved. An Arrangement of Fruit fits this description of a classic work by Dunning. It is a fine example of his consummate skill in capturing the appearance of lush, ripe fruit. The artist’s ability to distinguish textures evokes a tactile as well as a visual sense of this rich bounty. Simultaneously, the gentle play of light and curves that echo across the picture and the concentration on elegant surfaces imbue the image with balance, clarity, and unity. Dunning exhibited at the National Academy of Design, American Art-Union, Boston Art Club, and the Providence Art Club. His work is housed in important public collections, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C.; Fall River Historical Society, Massachusetts; Columbus Museum, Ohio; and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia.

Details

  • Creator
    Robert Spear Dunning (1829-1905, American)
  • Creation Year
    1901
  • Dimensions
    Height: 11 in. (27.94 cm)Width: 14 in. (35.56 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    Bedford, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU53938969202

You May Also Like

Still Life with Chinese Wallpaper
By Linda Etcoff
Located in Lincoln, MA
Formerly from the collection of Carl Crossman, the esteemed and popular appraiser and expert on Antiques Roadshow.
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Oil

Still Life with Sunflowers. Lemons and Plums
By James Aponovich
Located in Lincoln, MA
While sheltering in place during this pandemic, the artist was given the opportunity to extend his process and work on the paintings for longer and intentional periods of time. As a ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Oil

Still Life with Morning Glories
By James Aponovich
Located in Lincoln, MA
While sheltering in place during this pandemic, the artist was given the opportunity to extend his process and work on the paintings for longer and intentional periods of time. As a ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Oil

Still Life 23
By Carlos Bruscianelli
Located in Lincoln, MA
Still-Life, oil on linen, 40 x 30
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Linen, Oil

Still Life 27
By Carlos Bruscianelli
Located in Lincoln, MA
Still-Life, oil on linen, 36 x 24
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Linen, Oil

Lobsters
By James Aponovich
Located in Lincoln, MA
While sheltering in place during this pandemic, the artist was given the opportunity to extend his process and work on the paintings for longer and intentional periods of time. As a ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Oil

Mentos and Tic Tacs
By Mark Schiff
Located in Boca Raton, FL
This huge painting (50 inch x 40 inch) is the fourth in the series of iconic candy stand paintings by the renowned photorealist Mark Schiff. If you have the room for it, this piece ...
Category

Early 2000s American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Canvas, Oil

In Gratitude, Oil Painting
By Jo Galang
Located in San Francisco, CA
<p>Artist Comments<br />Artist Jo Galang says this piece was inspired by a lovely bouquet she received from her son and his girlfriend on Mother's Day. "It was so beautiful, and the ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary American Realist Still-life Paintings

Materials

Oil

The 1stDibs Promise

Learn More

Expertly Vetted Sellers

Confidence at Checkout

Price-Match Guarantee

Exceptional Support

Buyer Protection

Insured Global Delivery