biography of Severin ROESEN (c.1815-c.1871)

Birth place: probably near Cologne, Germany

Addresses: Williamsport, PA, c.1862- c.1871

Profession: Still-life painter, painter on porcelain and enamel

Studied: unknown

Exhibited: Cologne, Germany, 1847; PAFA, 1863

Work: Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington; Amon Carter Mus., Fort Worth, TX; Shelburne (VT) Mus.

Comments: Roesen began painting porcelain, enamelware and still-lifes in Germany, then emigrated to America about 1848. His still-lifes brought him recognition, and in 1848-50 he sold eleven works to the American Art-Union. He lived in NYC until about 1857, after which he spent several years working in a number of central Pennsylvania towns before settling down in rural Williamsport, PA, then a wealthy lumbering town, about 1862. There he achieved considerable success. His still life paintings (he painted 300-400) are influenced by the Dutch tradition, and typically consist of a large, elaborate arrangemenents of fruits (or flowers), usually surrounded by leaves and accompanied by a small bird's nest or a half-filled wine glass, all piled high on a marble table top. His signature is often devised as a grape vine"s tendril.

Sources: G&W; Maurice A. Mook, S. Roesen, `The Williamsport Painter,'" Allentown (Pa.) Morning Call, Dec. 3, 1955; Thieme-Becker; Cowdrey, AA & AAU; R.B. Stone, "Not Quite Forgotten, A Study of the Williamsport Painter, S. Roesen," Lycoming Co. Hist. Soc., Proceedings and Papers, No. 9, 1951; NYC 1850-57; Born, Still Life Painting in America; Frankenstein, After the Hunt, 32 and pl. 30; Portfolio (Aug. 1944), cover and p. 15; ibid. (Jan. 1954), 118; Williamsport Sun and Banner, June 27, 1895. More recently, see Baigell, Dictionary; Gerdts, Art Across America, vol. 1: 271-72 and note 12; Gerdts and Burke, American Still-Life Painting, 61, 66; For Beauty and for Truth, 85 (w/repro.); Muller, Paintings and Drawings at the Shelburne Museum, 120 (w/repro.); "