De Scott Evans

(1847-1898)

De Scott Evans painted several pairs of trompe l'oeil still lifes, apparently dating after his move from Cleveland to New York in 1887, which feature apples in one work and pears in the other. The fruit hangs from a string against a simulated wooden panel and in a corner appears the artist's calling card. Such paintings refer to the common 19th century American rural tradition of stringing fruit on a neighbor's door and leaving them as a gift.

In his hanging fruit pictures Evans creates the illusion that the fruit strongly project forward into the viewer's space. Placing them close to the picture plane and against a flat background or surface, sharply defining the forms with special emphasis on contour and texture, inhibits the eye from moving back in space. Evans also emphasized the superficial similarities between the surface of the apples and pears and the grainy, chipped, split, cracked and knotted wooden panel. He exposed the top and sides of his canvas and painted the edges so they resemble the sawed and planed edges of a board. As a result, the entire work resembles a three-dimensional object.