In eighteenth-century colonial America, flowers and fruit were typically the province of the botanical artist interested in scientific illustration rather than being the subjects of fine art. Early in the nineteenth century, however, the Peale family of Philadelphia established the still life, a picture consisting mainly of inanimate objects, as a valuable part of the artist's repertoire. The fruit paintings by James and Sarah Miriam Peale are simple arrangements of a few objects, handsomely colored, small in size, and representing little more than what they are. In contrast were the highly symbolic, complex compositions by Charles Bird King, with their biting satire and critical social commentary. Each of these strains comminuted into and well past mid-century.
John F. Francis (1808-86) was a part of the Pennsylvania still-life tradition that arose, at least in part, from the work of the Peales. Most of his still lifes date from around 1850 to 1875. Luncheon Still Life looks like one of the Peales' pieces on a larger scale, with greater complexity resulting from the number of objects. It is also indebted to the luncheon type of still life found in seventeenth-century Dutch painting. The opened bottles of wine and the glasses of wine partially consumed suggest a number of unseen guests. The appeal of the fruit and nuts to our sense of taste is heightened by the juicy orange, which has already been sliced. The arrangement is additive, that is, made up of many different parts, not always compositionally integrated, with all objects of essentially equal importance.
About 1848, Severin Roesen came to the United States from Germany and settled in New York City, where he began to paint large, lush still lifes of flowers, fruit, or both, often measuring over four feet across. Still Life with fruit and champagne is typical in its brilliance of color, meticulous rendering of detail, compact composition, and unabashed abundance. Rich in symbolic overtones, the beautifully painted objects carry additional meanings — butterflies or fallen buds suggest the impermanence of life, a bird's nest with eggs means fertility, and so on. Above all, Roesen's art expresses the abundance that America symbolized to many of its citizens.
1. What does the passage mainly discuss?
(A) The artwork of James and Sarah Miriam Peale
(B) How Philadelphia became a center for art in the nineteenth century
(C) Nineteenth-century still-life paintings in the United States
(D) How botanical art inspired the first still-life paintings
2. Which of the following is mentioned as a characteristic of the still lifes of James and Sarah
(C) smooth texture
(D) social commentary
3. The word biting in line 8 is closest in meaning to
4. The word It in line 13 refers to