This composition contains many elements that show Preyer’s technical abilities. She convincingly rendered the various textures juxtaposed in this composition, such as the contrast between the white cloth and the polished marble table, and the reflecting surfaces of metal, water drops, and glass versus the delicate skin of peaches and grapes. The knife that appears to project out over the side of the table is an indicator of Preyer’s familiarity with the tradition of Dutch still life painting.
After early training with her father, Johann Wilhelm Preyer (1803-1889), Emilie Preyer painted her first still life in 1867. For study purposes, she visited museums in Dresden, Antwerp, and the Netherlands. She focused primarily on still lifes of fruit.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of The Cleveland Museum of Art.