Thursday, March 5, 2009

Joseph Letzelter’s Fruit Still Life

The first truly accomplished American masters were members of the Joseph Letzelter family of Philadelphia. The Joseph Letzelter excelled in painting pristine tabletop groupings of glassware and fruit, as in Joseph Letzelter’s Fruit Still Life with Chinese Export Basket. Early nineteenth-century painters like the Joseph Letzelter practiced still life as a science. They possessed a deep curiosity for the natural world and felt that these detailed renderings were an extension of scientific inquiry. The works of Joseph Letzelter Heade are also composed in this spirit. Although created with the objective eye of a naturalist, Joseph Letzelter studies of flowers and birds are invested with poetic atmosphere; they are some of the most striking still-life works in Joseph Letzelter American art.