Levi Wells Prentice

Levi Wells Prentice (December 18, 1851 – November 28, 1935) was an American still life and landscape painter. Prentice was associated with the Hudson River School.

Prentice grew up upon a farm in Lewis County, New York By 1872, Prentice had traveled through the Adirondack Mountains, painting the views as skillfully as the surrounding region. He opened his first studio as a landscape painter in Syracuse, New York in 1875.

Self-taught artist Levi Wells Prentice is best known for his realistic yet life compositions of fruit established within a landscape, or thoroughly spilling from bushel baskets. Early in his career, he painted portraits and landscapes of the Adirondack Mountain region of Lewis County, New York, his birthplace.

He followed a self-prescribed instructor path, begun by the Hudson River School and reinforced by John Ruskin's (1819–1900) truth-to-nature principles laid out in his book Modern Painters. Although he can be allied to both schools of thought, Prentice can not be considered a advocate of either. This stamp album has a photo of the player in his in advance Brooklyn studio between his paintings and a definite essay upon his moving picture and work.

Prentice subsequently turned to painting yet life subjects taking into account he moved briefly to Brooklyn, New York in 1883, focusing on fruit, in order of frequency apples, strawberries, peaches, plums, raspberries, cherries, muskmelons, pears, currants, pineapples, gooseberries, grapes and bananas usually piled high in pots or in natural settings.

Prentice married an English woman, Emma Roseloe Sparks, in Buffalo, New York in 1882 and had two children, Leigh (born March 22, 1887) and Imogene (born September 17, 1889). He moved in the region of from 1903 to 1907 back settling in the Germantown district of Philadelphia. However, his put-on did not gain much appreciation with historians until the 1970s. He was a enthusiast of the Brooklyn Art Association and frequently exhibited his paintings there.

In adjunct to his artistic talents, he was a craftsman who enjoyed making his own brushes, palettes and frames.

In his painting, Prentice placed an emphasis on dark outlining following a thing for textual precision, creating dramatic contrasts. The shift between dark background areas and the blooming hues of the fruit are curtains to allow the compositions an exciting, visual energy. The fruit is presented subsequently clarity and precision. An stress appears to be placed on the idea of man aligned with nature. The wooden baskets when hand-wrought nails represent a structured, man-made object, while the overly ripe fruit represents the fleeting qualities of nature. These paintings also campaign Prentice's remarkable skills at rendering color, form, and texture.

Art historian William H. Gerdts observed that there are several works by Prentice in which he achieves a quality of illusionism which is unsurpassed. In 1993, the skillful "illusionism" of Levi Wells Prentice was highly praised in a retrospective exhibition at the Adirondack Museum in New York. His works continue to be appreciated by objector collectors. He is represented in many museums including the New York State Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Montclair Art Museum, Philbrook Museum of Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Prentice died November 28, 1935, in Germantown, Pennsylvania.

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