ROBERT SPEAR DUNNING (American 1829-1905)
    Tabletop Still Life With Fruit, circa 1884
    Oil on canvas
    18-1/4 x 24-1/4 inches (46.4 x 61.6 cm)
    Signed verso: R.S. Dunning

    Family of the artist

    Berry-Hill Galleries, American Paintings V (New York: 1988), pp. 48-49 (reproduced)

    Robert Spear Dunning, one of the masters of American still life painting of the late nineteenth century, was the founder and leader of the 'Fall River School,' of Fall River, Massachusetts. Under his guidance the Dunning's school produced a small but important corps of still- life painters who remained active well into the 20th century, including Abbie Zuill, Bryant Chapin, Albert E. Munroe, and Franklin H. Miller.

    Dunning was born in Brunswick, Maine and first moved to Fall River in 1834. He trained with James Roberts of Thomaston, Maine, and then with Daniel Huntington at the National Academy of Design in New York City. In 1853, Dunning returned to Fall River where he initially specialized in portraiture. By 1865, however, he had turned increasingly to the painting of still lifes. During the late 1860s and early 1870s, his style became more polished, with carefully differented textures, a bright palette, and unusual outdoor settings. By the early 1880s, however, he shifted to more complex designs, warmer tonalities and softer pictorial effects.

    A Tabletop Still Life with Fruit represents Dunning's later manner. The polished tabletop onto which the softly textured fruit spill out and by which they are mirrored, the ornately carved table edge, and the warm hues are all Dunning trademarks

    Estimate: $80,000 - $120,000.

    Condition Report*:

    relined, surface cleaned, scattered strengthening with minor craquelure to surface - please review images online

    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2007
    25th Friday
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