Large and Impressive Victorian Mid-19th Century Oil Painting of Fruit in a Vine-Covered Archway - image 1 of 11

Long panels such as this were often made to insert into multi-screen room dividers in Victorian homes. In this wonderful example, the talented artist was definitely immersed in the 19th century naturalistic movement that was then popular; the type of subject matter that included all subjects in nature presented in their true state.

In this piece, the branches that extend through and around the upper section of the painting are radiating from a nearby oak tree. The easily identifiable oak leaf shape with hanging acorns adds a rustic note to the composition. The fruit set out on the ledge of the stone archway not only features the products of local orchards, but also a few sprigs of wheat that give added interest to this still life.

Emanating down from the ledge is a large, cascading berry-laden vine that fills up the lower portion of the piece. The detail is such that you can even see the thorns on the vines and the veins on the leaves. Above the arch is a corbel of a lion’s head; this touch adds to its old-world feel. The artist captured the essence of a very old stone wall that provides a sophisticated background for his naturalistic features.

This is a fabulous decorative piece of Victorian art. It is one of four panels that originally made a huge room divider. Only one panel of the four had the manufacturer’s stamp on the back of the canvas; however, this one is not that one. This stamp helps to date these works of art as the manufacturer, George Priest, according to information from Britain’s National Portrait Gallery, was only in business from 1849 to 1865, when he died. Priest is known to have undertaken framing work from some important artists of his time, and he accompanied artist David Cox on some of his working field trips to North Wales.

The stamp reads: “G. Priest, PICTURE LINER, & c. 31, Navigation St., Birm., ARTIST’S JOINERS & c., General Dealer in Materials, Wholesale and Retail.” As a note, Priest’s wife, Hannah, according to the Gallery, was listed as trading as a dressmaker from this address after his death.

In order to bring this piece back its original beauty, I have had it professionally cleaned. It is in ready-to-display condition. Please note: the first photo was taken indoors, while the rest were taken outside.

Its unusual scale permits it to be used creatively where other pieces would not show as well. It is a complimentary pair to another from the four in the original room divider that I have listed separately. (See photo.)

It measures 25-1/4 inches wide and 79-5/8 inches high.


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Perry-Joyce Fine Arts

Large and Impressive Victorian Mid-19th Century Oil Painting of Fruit in a Vine-Covered Archway


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