Robert Spear Dunning's 'unusual vegetable art' could sprout $90,000

Skinner will host an auction of American & European Paintings & Prints on Friday, May 20 at noon in its Boston, Massachusetts gallery.

The sale offers wonderfully fresh material from a number of well-established estates and private collections including works from Robert Spear Dunning, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, and Carl Spitzweg, among others.

Starring among the sale's American paintings is Robert Spear Dunning's Still Life with Root Vegetables.

A co-founder of the Fall River School, Dunning was known as a master of reflective surfaces and for ornate Victorian still lifes inspired by the influx of wealth coming into the area following the Civil War.


Robert Spear Dunning's Still Life with Root Vegetables

His pieces often incorporate ripened fruit, flowers and opulent objects set on highly polished tabletops.

While it was an unusual choice to paint root vegetables in a worn brass pot, the piece offers all the hallmarks of his style with the meticulous detail as evidenced in his more showy works.

The piece is estimated at $70,000 to $90,000.


 

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