Vollon ranks among the greatest of the nineteenth-century still life painters. Here the humble motif belies Vollon’s virtuoso ability to depict the palpable skin of the onions by using a sketchy yet controlled brush technique. The influential critic, Albert Wolff, wrote that under Vollon’s “magical paintbrush, still life becomes great art.”
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- Titles Still Life with Onions (Proper)
- Artist Antoine Vollon, French, 1833 - 1900
- Medium oil on canvas
- Dimensions 9 1/2 × 12 in. (24.1 × 30.5 cm) frame: 13 3/8 × 16 × 1 5/8 in. (34 × 40.6 × 4.1 cm)
- Credit Line Gift of Anna Meade Minnigerode, 1968.39
- Work Type painting
- Classification Paintings
- Signature Recto, botton left, in paint: A. Vollon
- Marks None
- Inscription Verso, on strainer in marker: BMA / 68.30 [0 is bled] Verso, taped to backing board, in marker: "Still life - Onions" / by / Vollon / Property of / 68.39 / C. Powell Minnigerode Verso, top of frame: . GRIEVE / COMPANY / Manufacturers of / HAND CARVED / FRAMES / Modern and / Antique Periods / Regent 3492-1984 / 234 East 59th St. / New York City [partially torn] Verso, bottom left of frame, in marker: 68.39 Inside frame stretcher, incised: #20931-PAT.3961-214- Inside frame stretcher, in pencil: 9 x 11 1/2 x 8 [8 is similar to upside-down dollar sign]
- Provenance C. Powell Minnigerode (1876-1951), Washington, D.C. [see note 1]; probably by bequest to his son, Holdsworth Gordon Minnigerode (b. 1905); probably inherited by his wife, Anna Meade Minnigerode (1903-1986) [see note 2]; gift to the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama, 1968
1. According to 1968 letter from Richard F. Howard to Norman Hirschl at Hirschl & Adler Galleries, New York. See object file.
2. Minnigerode’s gravestone lists his son as Holdsworth Gordon Minnigerode, who married Anna Meade Minnigerode in 1938. A summary of Minnigerode’s will indicates that he left “bequests of paintings he bequeathed to his son.” Trusts and Estates: The Fiduciary Journal 90, no. 4 (1951): 336.