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Levi Wells Prentice

American, 1851–1935

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Levi Wells Prentice

American, 1851–1935

Biography

Though the early Adirondack landscapes of Levi Wells Prentice could be compared to the Hudson River School or the “truth to nature” philosophy espoused by John Ruskin, the self-taught artist had a singular approach to painting. He later moved to Brooklyn, where he focused on still lifes, mostly illusionistic arrangements of fruit, especially piles of apples stacked in buckets in the studio and in nature—and often with the cheeky addition of worm holes and bruises. In landscapes and still lifes, his work has an untrained quality that has become appreciated by collectors in recent decades, with dark outlines, precise rendering of details, and exaggerated contrasts between dark shadows and vibrant colors.

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Biography

Though the early Adirondack landscapes of Levi Wells Prentice could be compared to the Hudson River School or the “truth to nature” philosophy espoused by John Ruskin, the self-taught artist had a singular approach to painting. He later moved to Brooklyn, where he focused on still lifes, mostly illusionistic arrangements of fruit, especially piles of apples stacked in buckets in the studio and in nature—and often with the cheeky addition of worm holes and bruises. In landscapes and still lifes, his work has an untrained quality that has become appreciated by collectors in recent decades, with dark outlines, precise rendering of details, and exaggerated contrasts between dark shadows and vibrant colors.

Career Highlights
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