Arts Everyday Living: The Art of Food–A Perfect Summer Dessert, Strawberries and Cream

Raphaelle Peale, Strawberries and Cream, 1816, oil on wood, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.


Do you need some refreshment during what might be a long hot summer where you live? Or even if the weather is enjoyable, the temperatures moderate with an uplifting breeze, who can resist the perennial combination of strawberries and cream?

Raphaelle Peale ((1774-1825), its artist, is generally considered the first major American specialist in still life. He also was a member of the talented Peale family. His father Charles Wilson Peale (1741-1827) was renowned not only for his portraits of the Founding Fathers and other leaders of the American Revolution, but for being a scientist, inventor, and establishing the first museum in the United States.

The elder Peale also displayed an unusual creativity for naming the ten children of his wife Rachel Brewer (1744-1790),* choosing famous painters as his inspiration. For Raphaelle’s siblings included Rembrandt (1778-1860), Rubens (1784-1865), Titian (1780-1798)  plus his sisters Angelica Kauffmann Peale (1775-1853)  and Sofonisba Anguissola Peale (1786-1859).** All of them artists, fulfilling what must have been the Peale patriarch’s wish!

*Charles Wilson Peale had three wives.

**Angelica Kaufmann was an 18th century artist; Sofonisba Anguissola was a 16th century artist.




In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or any of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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