Born 1774, Annapolis, Maryland
Died 1825, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Still-Life with Watermelon and Fruit, 1822
Oil on canvas
The Members' Fund
This still-life painting may celebrate the healing power of nature. The long, gourd-shaped balsam apple depicted here was used for healing wounds, while the profusion of seeds in the apple and watermelon suggests rejuvenation and birth. The birth of American still-life painting is associated with the Peale family of Philadelphia. Raphaelle, the son of Charles Willson Peale, specialized in still-lifes.