Severin Roesen’s still life celebrates an American harvest and the promise of more to come. The split pomegranate and half-eaten melon carry the seeds of next year’s planting, while the glass of champagne invites a quiet moment of appreciation. Roesen was among many Germans who fled their country’s political troubles of 1848. They brought with them a level of craftsmanship that found a ready market among Americans whose prosperity matched the natural abundance the artist captured here. These new Americans, whose dreams of democratic reform in Europe had been crushed, also brought to this country a liberal social conscience that played a significant role in the abolition of slavery.
Credit Line: Text courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum.