This is a vibrant 19th century American School theorem with a wonderfully different composition. This watercolor on velvet still life seems to be an aerial view of the fruit as opposed to the more common frontal view that shows the vessel in which the fruit and leaves have been placed. I find unusual compositions like this creative one a breath of fresh air. I think about the school girl or young lady who painted it studying theorems of the day and deciding to do something different with the art. The theorem includes a wide array of fruits including pineapple, grapes, varieties of berries, pears, peaches, and plums. The fruit lies upon a bed of different types of leaves. The condition is very good with some minor toning to the velvet, some scattered spotting and a bit of fading. Considering how vibrant it is today, imagine how delightfully bright it must have been when made. I took it out of the frame for conservation and found it is conservation mounted with spacers, acid-free backing, etc. Just like I would have done to take care of it. Housed in a stunning period gilt frame. Framed size is 19 ¼” x 22 ½”, sight size 13 ¾” x 16 ½”. The theorem is circa 1850, the frame may be a decade of two earlier.
Please see Theorem Painting in America for more information on this wonderful form of folk art.