Artist Levi Wells Prentice is best known for his realistic still-life compositions of fruit arranged within a landscape, or abundantly spilling from bushel baskets. Early in his career, he painted portraits and landscapes of the Adirondack Mountain region of Lewis County, New York, where Prentice was born in 1851.
Prentice later turned to painting still-life subjects when he moved to Brooklyn, New York in 1883. He was a member of the Brooklyn Art Association and frequently exhibited his paintings there. In addition to his artistic talents, Prentice also designed his own frames and made his own brushes and palettes.
Prentice's fruit still lifes are compositions intended to create dramatic contrasts. The shift between dark background areas and the vibrant hues of the fruit are done to give the compositions an exciting, visual energy. The fruit is presented with clarity and precision. These paintings also demonstrate Prentice's remarkable skill at rendering color, form, and texture. Noted art historian William H. Gerdts observed: "there are several works by Prentice in which he achieves a quality of illusionism which is unsurpassed."
In 1993, the skillful 'illusionism' of Levi Wells Prentice was celebrated in a retrospective exhibition at the Adirondack Museum in New York. His works continue to receive a high degree of appreciation by collectors today. His works are represented in many museums including the New York State Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Montclair Art Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art and Yale University Art Gallery.
Hats of Peaches, oil on canvas, 11 1/4 x 17 1/2 inches
Ally Village 200 Spring Park Drive, Suite 105 Midland, Texas 79705