Fruit and Drapery

KovnerSaul - Fruit and Drapery.JPG

Dublin Core


Fruit and Drapery


This complex still life plays with how the natural world makes its way into artistic forms and representation. A grouping of fruit at upper left is echoed in the fabric’s shapes at lower right, as with the bell pepper’s distinctive shape. A pear at middle right is easy to overlook because its colors blend in. Meanwhile, a ceramic teapot is painted with its own colors and floral designs (referenced in another fabric). There are three distinct pieces of cloth, whose patterns multiply by reversal and draping. In the background is either a painting of sky upon the wall, or Kovner’s painted sky for this composition.

About the Artist: Born in Rogachov, Russia, Kovner—who painted under the name “Saul”—immigrated with his parents in either in 1911 or 1912 to New York. He studied there at the National Academy of Design with Charles Hawthorne and William Auerbach-Levy. Kovner then set up a studio near Central Park, whose gregarious crowds seem to have influenced many of his works, regardless of their unflinching looks at poverty. In 1935, Kovner was one of three WPA artists assisting James Michael Newell on The Evolution of Western Civilization—a massive, 12-panel fresco at Evander Childs High School in the Bronx. Kovner moved to Burbank, CA in the late 1940s and remained there until his death. 6 works at Smithsonian American Art Museum. 1 work at the Detroit Institute of Arts. 1 work at Whitney Museum of American Art. 3 works at National Gallery of Art. 1 work at the Newark Museum. 1 work at Princeton University Art Museum. 4 more images at FAP.


Kovner, Saul, 1904-1982


Federal Art Project




Ritz, Abigail (photography)

Cooper, Ken (biography)


New Deal Gallery, Genesee Valley Council on the Arts

Object #FA18192


jpeg, 1.1 MB


Still image



Still Image Item Type Metadata

Original Format

Oil painting

Physical Dimensions

21.5 x 17.5 in.
Condition: surface dirt