Oil on canvas, 19.5 x 14.5 inches / Signed lower right
Ream was born in Lancaster, Ohio and was to become one of the most important still life painters of the 19th century. Typical of artists of the time, Ream traveled to Europe and studied in London, Paris, and Munich to broaden his artistic experience. Upon returning to the United States he spent time in New York City and Cincinnati, Ohio before settling in Chicago (Sugar Grove), Illinois in 1878. His typical still-lifes are wonderfully simple table-top displays of botanically correct fruit accented by dramatic lighting. Ream's use of trompe l'oeil provides further dramatic effect, giving the illusion of real fruit to be plucked off the canvas. His painting "Purple Plums" (also known as “Just Gathered”) was the first picture by a Chicago artist to be included in the permanent collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. Ream exhibited at Brooklyn Art Association, of which he was a member, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Royal Academy of Art (London, England).