Raphaelle Peale USA
2-17-1774 Annapolis, USA – 3-4-1825 Philadelphia, USABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Raphaelle Peale first professional exhibition was in 1795 at the age of 21. In 1797, with his brother Rembrandt, he traveled to Charleston, South Carolina, where they attempted to establish another museum. The plan fell through, however, and Raphael returned to painting miniatures.
For about two years beginning in 1803, Raphaelle Peale toured Virginia with the "physiognotrace", a profile making machine, with which he was briefly successful. By 1806 he had begun to suffer the symptoms of arsenic and mercury poisoning brought on by his work as a taxidermist in his father's museum. In August 1809 he was hospitalized with delirium, and for the rest of his life he suffered debilitating attacks almost yearly—which his father ascribed to "gout of the stomach" caused by consumption of pickles and excessive drinking. From 1810, Peale concentrated on still-life painting almost exclusively, becoming America's first professional still-life painter, and he exhibited frequently at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and elsewhere, especially from 1814–18. By 1813, he was unable to walk without crutches.
After the downturn in his health, in an era when most artists considered still life a subject worthy only of amateurs, Raphaelle Peale devoted himself almost exclusively to still life painting. It is for these works he is best known. After reportedly indulging in a night of heavy drinking, his health destroyed, he died at his home in Philadelphia.
His style may have been influenced by Spanish still life paintings he saw on his trip to Mexico and by the two works by Juan Sanchez Cotan, exhibited at the Pennsylvania Academy in 1816. Most of Raphaelle Peale's paintings are small in scale, and depict a few objects—usually foodstuffs—arranged on a tabletop before a darkened background. A notable exception is his trompe l'oeil, Venus Rising from the Sea—A Deception also entitled After the Bath.
Art Movement: Realism
Influences: Charles Willson Peale
Traveled: Mexico, Brasil