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The BLUE MELONS and Grapes. AMERICAN FOLK ART THEOREM.....SALE PENDING
Eastern US, ca. 1840. Watercolor on wove paper. Only a small group of blue-dominant melon theorems are known. The blue melons, each segment skillfully contrasted by green, center clusters of plump grapes, all resting on a blue-feather edged platter. Coveted folk art flatness without shadowing. The transitions between colors, areas of brightness and darkness, and fine stippling, are masterful. The seeds, subtely bordered in red, give movement as they radiate from the center as do the striations between melon segments. In a period gilt frame of about 26 1/4 inches wide x 19 1/4 tall. Excellent condition with colors remaining fresh and vibrant. Remarkable provenance includes the pioneering folk art collector Dotty Kauffaman, Barry Cohen, Edgar William and Bernice Chrysler Garbisch; and private CT folk art collection since 1979....A very similar painting, perhaps by the same hand, is in the collection of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center at Colonial Williamsburg. Described in Treasures of American Folk Art from the AARFAC as: "The simplicity of its design, combined with the linear quality of the upright melon slices and the encircling grape clusters, makes the small painting one of the most visually pleasing watercolors in the Center's collection".
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