Still Life with Watermelon by Irving Penn ( c. 1947)

The photograph “Still Life with Watermelon” was created by the artist Irving Penn in New York, around the year 1947. This still life image presents a classic composition with fruits and other elements artfully arranged to create a harmonious and aesthetically pleasing scene.

Describing the photograph, we can see a slice of watermelon with its rich pink flesh and black seeds prominently in the foreground, evoking a sense of freshness and summer. Above it, a cluster of grapes with varying shades of green and darker tones suggests a lush abundance, complemented by a bright yellow lemon, which adds a pop of color contrast. There are leaves and tendrils that add a natural and organic feel to the arrangement, suggesting the freshly picked nature of the fruits.

The composition also includes a partially eaten roll of bread, which introduces a textured element contrasting the smooth surfaces of the fruits. The bread is placed near a fabric, likely a linen napkin, with a natural fold that adds to the tactile qualities of the scene. Randomly scattered around are a few loose cherry pits and a cherry stem, providing a sense of informality and casualness to the otherwise carefully arranged composition. The backdrop is quite plain, likely intentionally to keep the focus on the vibrant colors and textures of the still life elements. This photograph encapsulates the beauty of simple, everyday objects elevated to fine art through the skillful eye of Irving Penn.

Other Photographs from Irving Penn

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