Green Plums by Joseph Decker - c. 1885 - 22.9 x 27.8 cm National Gallery of Art Green Plums by Joseph Decker - c. 1885 - 22.9 x 27.8 cm National Gallery of Art

Green Plums

Oil on canvas • 22.9 x 27.8 cm
  • Joseph Decker - 1853 - 1924 Joseph Decker c. 1885

Green Plums represents the initial phase of the artist's journey in still life painting, often referred to as Decker's "hard" style. Joseph Decker was a German-born American painter who specialized in still lifes; he never achieved an important artistic reputation during his lifetime, although ... look at these plums! His style is distinct for its sharp edges, zoomed-in perspectives, intense lighting, vibrant and sometimes acidic colors, and an absence of subtle shadows. While at first glance these paintings might strike one with their almost hyper-realistic nature, a closer inspection reveals a relaxed and practiced brushwork. For instance, the depiction of waxy green plums here is achieved with broad, discernible strokes in varying shades of green, briskly highlighted with white. A couple of plums are lightly colored, almost giving them a ghostly presence. The image's "hard" feel comes from its bold outlines, defined geometric forms, and radiant lighting.

One critic, puzzled by Decker's unconventional style, remarked about a painting from the same period: "What is Mr. Decker thinking, offering us such rigid green pears and even stiffer peaches? What could possibly be his interpretation of art, presenting such stark masses of raw green and even more glaring red?"

I'd love to eat these plums now! 

This painting is featured in our Food & Drinks 50 Postcards Set along with other delicious masterpieces. You can check them out in DailyArt Shop.  :)

P.S. If you love autumnal food, you should check out these brilliant still-life paintings featuring pumpkins, squash, chestnuts, and more! And for more fruits in art, see the articles below!