A Naïve English School Oil on Board Still Life Study c.1900

Origin: English
Period: Late Victorian
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1900
Height: 21.5”
Width: 26.5”
Depth: 1”

Painted in oils on board in the naïve style, the charming depiction of a still life consisting of a scrolled and fluted classical urn, open book and horn rimmed reading spectacles,  upon a washed sea green and sand coloured ground, the whole presented in a later white painted frame, and surviving from the zeniths of the nineteenth century.

The painting is apparently unsigned, although there is a very faint glimmer of what could be lettering to the lower left corner. It has some overall craquelure and hasn’t been cleaned or restored at any stage. There are some gauge and scuff marks as photographed.

Édouard Manet once called still life “the touchstone of painting.” Characterised by an interest in the insentient, this genre of art has been popular across movements, cultures, and periods. The earliest known still life paintings were created by the Egyptians in the 15th century BCE. Funerary paintings of food—including crops, fish, and meat—have been discovered in ancient burial sites.

A wonderfully wonky work that somehow retains a beautiful balance in reflecting the beauty of inanimate objects.