Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Oranges, Raimonds Staprans, Peale, Matisse, Augustus Egg, Gauguin, Renoir and Other Fruit Lovers

Raimonds Staprans, Still Life with Four Oranges, 2005. 44 x 48 inches

A Superb American Modern Painter, yet Hardly Known:

Raimonds Staprans (b. 1926 Latvia) Too Many Unruly Oranges, 1978

At age 85, Staprans lives and works in San Francisco, CA. He is best known for his exquisite draftsmanship but also for his bright colors, of which orange seems to be his favorite. He used to show at the old Maxwell Gallery on Sutter Street, where I first saw his work. I could not then afford a similarly large painting priced at $700.

His dealers now include The Hackett-FreedmanGallery in San Francisco, the Westbrook Galleries, Carmel, CA, and James J. Rieser Fine Art, Carmel,CA.

Staprans, White Top Boats, 1972 <span class=

Other Oranges:

Carlo Marcucci (b. Florence, Italy, 1962)Troubled Oranges, 1992
Note the red chemical structural image in the blue background. Marcucci's message is directed to how we grow our food, which is usuaslly infused with chemicals.

The artist’s statement:
As society and technology evolve, our familiarity with natural food becomes ever more distant. Modern man now forages and hunts for food in markets and restaurants, rather than the forests and prairies of his ancient forebears. Everyday we ingest foods containing unfamiliar artificial ingredients, and most of what we purchase is grown, processed, packaged, and shipped in large containers coming from far-away lands. Many of these foods have lost their original shape, texture, and appearance. Despite our best intentions, the realities of the global economy have eroded our ability to control what we ingest.

Raphaelle Peale (American, b. Annapolis, MD 1774-1825 ) Dessert, 1814. Fifth and eldest child in what is called "The First Family of American Painting, so productive were the family members during our colonial and post-colonial period. His father was Charles Wilson Peale (b. Queen Ann's County, MD, 1741-1827)

Fresh oranges in early 19th century England were a distinct luxury, a comfort on an otherwise drab train ride. The Travelling Companions (1862; Birmingham, Museum) depicts two sisters in a railway carriage on the outskirts of Menton, and reveals Egg's evolution towards a non-anecdotal art.

Above: Augustus Leopold Egg (b. London,1816-1863) The Travelling Companions, 1862.

Paul Gauguin (b. Paris, 1848-1903) 1892. Still Life with Tahitian Oranges, 1892. Very popular in reproduction, The original recently sold at a little over $12 million

PIerre August Renoir (b. Lemoges, France 1841-1919). )
Still Life with Apples and Oranges, 1897. Lush background envelopes and enhances the color of the fruit.

Henri Matisse (b. Le Cateau Cambresis, France, 1869-1954) Nu Aux Oranges (Nude Among the Oranges)

In his later career, Matisse, influenced by Japanese arts, created minimalist patterns, some with figures.
Matissse, Nu Bleu II, 1952

Above: fineart.photoposts.org/index.php?showimage=21106 . Artist unstated.
""I did this painting in ten minutes in high school."

Literary Oranges:

Joanne Harris (b. Barnsley, UK, 1964, French mother and English father) Five Quarters of the Orange, 2002
Harris writes here about the early 1940s in occupied France
, how the children survive and how the occupiers respond. Prominent are a friendly young German soldier, Resistance fighters, and collaborators. At home lies a sickly mother who is violently allergic to or pained by oranges. As usual French food is everywhere. The question, of course, is How could there be five quarters of anything?

Harris' other writing includes the novel, Chocolat (1999) and two cookbooks. She spends time studying Old Norse and making music with her band.

Above: Jurchenko (Vancouver, CA) Roman Oranges. n.d.

Molly O'Bryon Welpott (USA) Photo. n.d.

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