Genre and Still Life Painting

Robert Spear Dunning (1829–1905)
Harvest of Cherries, 1866
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 1/2 in. (50.8 x 67.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.48

Object-Robert Spear Dunning, Harvest of Cherries

A founder of the Fall River school of still-life painting, based in his home state of Massachusetts, Robert Spear Dunning produced illusionistic works that carried forward a tradition from the pre–Civil War period. Harvest of Cherries, one of his earliest still-lifes, depicts an abundance of the shiny red fruit spilling from a basket and a man’s straw hat set juxtaposed with an overturned woman’s bonnet. The painting evokes a moment of carefree leisure with overtones of courtship. In its precise rendering of natural forms and textures, it is reminiscent of both seventeenth-century Dutch art and nineteenth-century British Pre-Raphaelite art. Here, however, the sensual appeal of the subject is countered by a moralizing reflection on people. The slight tears in the brim of the man’s hat contrast with the flawless cherries—traditionally associated with virtue—as if to emphasize human shortcomings compared to nature’s perfection.

Learn more about this painting on the Terra Foundation website.


Robert Spear Dunning (1829–1905)
Harvest of Cherries, 1866
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 1/2 in. (50.8 x 67.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.48

Genre and Still Life Painting

Eastman Johnson (1824–1906)
Fiddling His Way, c. 1866
Oil on artist's board, 20 7/8 x 24 7/8 in. (53 x 63.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1999.8
Lilly Martin Spencer (1822–1902)
The Home of the Red, White, and Blue, c. 1867–68
Oil on canvas, 24 x 30 in. (61 x 76.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2007.1
William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
Fruit Piece: Apples on Tin Cups, 1864
Oil on academy board, 6 1/2 x 9 1/16 in. (16.5 x 23.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.100
Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
Apple Picking, 1878
Watercolor and gouache on paper, laid down on board, 7 x 8 3/8 in. (17.8 x 21.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.7
William Sidney Mount (1807–1868)
The Trap Sprung, 1844
Oil on panel, 12 7/8 x 17 1/16 in. (32.7 x 43.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.52
Robert Spear Dunning (1829–1905)
Harvest of Cherries, 1866
Oil on canvas, 20 x 26 1/2 in. (50.8 x 67.3 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1999.48
Samuel Colman, Jr. (1832–1920)
Ships Unloading, New York, 1868
Oil on canvas mounted on board, 41 5/16 x 29 15/16 in. (105.0 x 76.0 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1984.4
John George Brown (1831–1913)
Picnic Party in the Woods, 1872
Oil on canvas, 24 5/16 x 44 in. (61.8 x 111.8 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.1
Martin Johnson Heade (1819–1904)
Still Life with Apple Blossoms in a Nautilus Shell, 1870
Oil on canvas, 21 x 17 in. (53.3 x 43.2 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1999.7
Thomas Waterman Wood (1783–1872)
The Yankee Pedlar, 1872
Oil on canvas, 28 x 40 in. (71.1 x 101.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 1998.3
George Caleb Bingham (1811–1879)
The Jolly Flatboatmen, 1877–78
Oil on canvas, 26 1/16 x 36 3/8 in. (66.2 x 92.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1992.15
John Haberle (1853–1933)
One Dollar Bill, 1890
Oil on canvas, 8 × 10 in. (20.3 × 25.4 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2015.4
Winslow Homer (1836–1910)
The Whittling Boy, 1873
Oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 22 11/16 in. (40.0 x 57.6 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Collection, 1994.12
John Frederick Peto (1854–1907)
Old Time Letter Rack, 1894
Oil on canvas, 30 1/8 x 25 1/4 in. (76.5 x 64.1 cm). Terra Foundation for American Art, Daniel J. Terra Art Acquisition Endowment Fund, 2015.5