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Leavitt, Edward Chalmers

(1842-1904) Edward C. Leavitt worked in Providence but is also associated with the Fall River School of still life painting through the influence of, and affinity of his style to, the work of Robert S. Dunning. Leavitt was a student of landscape painter James Morgan Lewin, a founder of Providence’s artistic “group of 1855.” Leavitt’s work is known for its realism, rich coloration, sharp focus and careful finish. His paintings of fruit and flowers incorporate ornate decorative pieces such as silver or bronze ewers, salvers, tankards, or plates on carved and polished tables. Leavitt was a prolific artist, exhibiting frequently at the National Academy of Design, the Boston Art Club, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. His work inspired other still life painters in Providence, resulting in that city’s own still life tradition, including artists such as John Clinton Spencer, Bryant Chapin, Charles Storer, and George Whitaker. For several decades his work (along with still life painting in general) was eclipsed by other styles, but when interest in the genre was renewed in the 1970s, Leavitt was once again recognized as one of New England’s leading still life painters of the nineteenth century.

Title: Currants
Medium: Oil on canvas; signed/dated lower right, 1897 8" x 10"

Title: Still Life of Fruit
Medium: oil on canvas, signed lower left, dated 1891, 20" x 22" sight, 28.5" x 29.5" framed