“Murphy was a master-craftsman, in both his painting and his frame design, and Pink and White Peonies exhibits the best of both worlds. My eyes are immediately drawn to the contrast of the softer tones and brushwork of the flowers against the darker, delineated forms of the leaves, and I’m impressed with Murphy’s depiction of the arrangement’s shadow on the textured backdrop. The artist’s hand-carved frame complements the still life beautifully, just as he intended.”
-Courtney Kopplin, Gallery Manager
More information about this painting...
This work retains a period Hermann Dudley Murphy frame, date 1926
During the 1920s, Murphy began producing the carefully arranged floral still lifes for which he is today best known, a transition some have attributed to his happy second marriage to Nellie. These odes to beauty and to the academic tradition he continued to espouse in the face of more modernist trends found ready collectors when exhibited at the National Academy, the Pennsylvania Academy and with Vose Galleries in 1925 and 1928.
In Pink and White Peonies, the artist’s appreciation for light and form can be seen in the pleasing combination of the delicate blossoms with the sharp edges of the vase and dark green leaves, and his effective brushwork sets the arrangement apart by adding texture to the background screen. Murphy’s aesthetic skills are further demonstrated in the hand-carved frame created by him in 1926.
Private collection, Boston, Massachusetts
(top stretcher in pencil) A383
- (handwritten on frame) 158 / 49
- (stamp on top stretcher) Ex. P. A. F. A.
- (twice, on frame and top stretcher) No. 55814
- More recent typed label, torn in spots, with Artist, Title, Medium, Size and Number