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Severin Roesen

Still Life: Flowers and Fruit, 1850–55

Severin Roesen (1815 – 1872)

Known for sumptuous, highly realistic still life with a brilliant palette, he was born in Germany near Cologne and likely trained as a porcelain and enamel painter. In 1848, he emigrated with his family to New York where he exhibited still life paintings at the American Art Union.

In 1857, he moved to Williamsport, Pennsylvania and continued to paint detailed floral still lifes in the tradition of the 17th-century Dutch and German painters. Mysteriously, he left Williamsport in 1872, and nothing further is known about him.

His paintings suited American taste in that they reflected mid-19th century optimism in the richness and abundance of the nation. For many of his still lifes, he used the popular oval format with heightened palette and detailed attention to each piece of fruit.

Biography from the Archives of AskART