Still Life with Broken Watermelon

James Peale (1749–1831)


Oil on panel

Sewell C. Biggs bequest; 2004.439

In addition to artists who painted portraits, a growing group of U.S. painters were eager to start an American school of art and explore new methods of painting. James Peale and his nephew Raphael Peale (1784–1825) established the first school of still-life paintings in the United States. Although considered one of the lowest forms of painting in the European tradition, still life became a new means of artistic expression in America.