Overview

In the summer of 1860 Fenton made his most deliberate and exacting photographs to date: a series of still lifes. Although the subject obviously had its roots in painting, his densely packed compositions are far removed from the renditions of everyday life by the Dutch masters. Instead, Fenton extravagantly piled luscious fruits and intricately patterned flowers on top of one another and pushed them to the front of his composition so that they seem almost ready to tumble out of the photograph into the viewer's space. It is that very immediacy—the precarious composition, the lush sensuousness of the objects, and our knowledge of their imminent decay—that makes these photographs so striking.

Inscription

Engraved lower center: Photographed by R. Fenton; by later hands, bottom center in graphite: F115; bottom right in grpahite: 38; by Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc., lower left in graphite: 300602.68

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

The photographer; by descent from his brother; (Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York, New York); NGA purchase, 2005.

Exhibition History

Bibliography

Conservation Notes

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Related Works

Related Resources

  • Event Type
    Event Name
    March 1–June 1
    Mon, Tues, and Wed at 1:00
    March 5, 2012 at 2:00
    March 7, 2012 at 4:00
    East Building, Auditorium
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    60 minutes
    Registration for this event begins on April 1, 2012 at noon.
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    Italian Collection
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