oil on canvas
United States
Unframed: 31 3/4 × 43 5/8 in. (80.65 × 110.81 cm)
Framed: 45 × 57 1/2 in. (114.3 × 146.05 cm)

Charles Caryl Coleman was ranked by his late-19th-century contemporaries as the preeminent painter of “decorative” still lifes set in harmonious artist-designed frames. He remains best known for such refined work, exemplified by Quince Blossoms. Produced in Italy for an international clientele, this series of some fourteen paintings features precisely arranged flowers and bric-a-brac from the artist’s personal collection. Here, flowering quince branches rest in a large Italian earthenware vase near a Japanese export paper fan and Chinese ceramic bowls. All are set against an embroidered Near Eastern textile. Coleman’s interest in seeking decorative effects through the combination of different styles and cultures lay at the heart of the era’s Aesthetic movement, a multidimensional phenomenon explored in this gallery.

Quince Blossoms was the initial painting acquired with support from the J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art, VMFA’s first endowment for historical American art.

J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
"In Pursuit of Beauty: Americans and the Aeshetic Movement," Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY (23 October 1986 - 11 January 1987) p. 329, fig. 9.17.

"54th Annual Exhibition," Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, (1883) as either White Azaleas, no. 65, or Almond Blossoms, no. 66.
O’Leary, Elizabeth L., Sylvia Yount, Susan Jensen Rawles, and David Park Curry. American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Charlottesville: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts with the University of Virginia Press, 2010. (No. 77, p. 222-225).

David Park Curry, "The Painting Over the Table," Source Notes in the History of Art, Vol. XXIV, No. 2, Winter 2005, pp. 60-69, b&w fig. 1, p. 61.

Mary Lublin, 19th and 20th Century Paintings (New York: Jordan-Volpe Gallery, Inc., 1989) p. 16, color ill. p. 17.

David Park Curry, “What’s in a Frame,” in Eli Wilner, ed., The Gilded Edge in America (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2000) pp. 30, 139, color ill. no. 18, p. 34, credit p. 197.

David Park Curry, “Shopping, Collecting, Remembering: Some Turn-of-the-Century American Pictures,” The International Fine Art Fair Directory, 1996, pp. 10-11, fig. 6.

"Charles C. Coleman," The Art Amateur, A Monthly Journal Devoted to the Cultivation of Art in the Household, vol. II, no. 3 (February 1880): p. 1

Paris Salon, 1878.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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