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Still Life with Plums, 1865-1880

Paul-Désiré Trouillebert
French, 1829-1900
Oil on panel
6-3/8 x 14-1/4 in. (16.2 x 36.2 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

Not on view

Paul-Désiré Trouillebert was, above all, a landscape painter. During his long career, the Parisian-born artist was best known for painting in the style of his teacher, Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot. Indeed, his fame struck when Alexandre Dumas fils, the famous writer, bought one of Trouillebert’s paintings and mistook it for one by Corot. This small still life, however, has none of the ethereal qualities of Trouillebert’s shimmering landscapes. Instead, Trouillebert treats a freshly cut branch of nine plums with all the directness of a formal exercise. The near-perfect roundness of the purple fruit provides a delightful balance to the wavy green leaves that envelop them above and below, while a single horizontal branch provides an anchor to the composition overall.

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