Today we are excited to offer for sale a beautiful antique oil painting on canvas professionally attributed to renowned artist Edward Chalmers Leavitt. This exquisite piece depicts a vibrant bunch of concord green grapes that are laid on a shiny reflective surface (perhaps a lacquered table top). The grapes are the main focus of the painting; their luminous green colors playing off the dark background surrounding it. The painting’s charm and modernity rests on its’ simplicity, the contrast of light and darkness and the single subject create a timeless masterpiece. This piece is unsigned but we are confident that it is the work of Edward Chalmers Leavitt (1842-1904). The painting came from an old estate in which there were two signed Leavitt paintings and this 3rd piece is quite obviously done inn the same hand and with the same pallette. The back of the canvas and the frame bear the stamp of “Edgar ?? Artist Materials, Woonsocket RI” so we have further reason to believe it was painted in RI. Mounted on an ornate giltwood frame.
About Edward Chalmers Leavitt:
“Edward Chalmers Leavitt (1842–1904), a native of Providence, Rhode Island, was an early New England painter said to be the most renowned still life painter of his day in Providence, RI.
Leavitt was born March 9, 1842, the son of Providence pastor Rev. Jonathan Leavitt and his wife Charlotte Esther (Stearns) Leavitt.
At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Leavitt enlisted at Boston in the United States Navy with his friend William Warren Flint of Walpole, New Hampshire. During his Navy service, Leavitt frequently practiced his drawing technique.
Most of Leavitt’s paintings featured tabletop arrangements of flowers, fruit, antiques and vintage bric-a-brac, and were sought after by the Victorian middle class. The oil on canvas paintings often were marked by their sense of texture. During the 1870s and 1880s Leavitt frequently exhibited at the National Academy of Design.
There are indications that during his career, Leavitt worked with the gifted Martin Heade. Leavitt was known to have studied earlier with local artist James Morgan Lewin, a painter of romantic canvases. During his career, Leavitt painted thousands of canvases, turning out his trademark paintings of flowers, fruit and dead fish and game for a hungry middle class anxious for artworks to decorate their newly acquired homes. At one time, Leavitt’s still lifes decorated Boston’s esteemed Parker House hotel as well as the Narragansett Hotel in Providence. Leavitt worked at his studio at the Hoppin Homestead Building in Providence.
Leavitt’s work is in the collection of the Brandywine River Museum, which has called him “Providence, Rhode Island’s most successful still life painter of the nineteenth century.” Leavitt’s work is also in the collection of the Cahoon Museum of American Art in Cotuit, Massachusetts, and in the collection of the Cummer Museum of Art In Jacksonville, Florida.
Leavitt died at his home in Providence in 1904.”
Dimensions of canvas: 17″ in length by 13″ in height
Dimensions of with frame: 22″ in length by 18″ in height
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