FAIRFIELD PORTER (1907–1975)
Still Life of Flowers on a Mirror, 1966
Oil on canvas, 20 x 18 in.
Signed and dated (at upper right): Fairfield Porter 66
EX COLL.: private collection, Port Washington, New York, until 2013
Though celebrated as a figure painter, Porter also frequently painted still lifes. Porter appreciated the vivid colors and casual attitude of still-life painting as much as he enjoyed the relaxed, luxuriant aspects of the landscape of his summer home on Great Spruce Head Island in Penobscot Bay, Maine. Still Life of Flowers on a Mirror is a recently discovered still life in oil by Porter from 1966, and probably was painted inside Porter’s summer home. It shows an arrangement of red and white flowers and other still-life elements placed on a round, mirrored surface, either a simple mirror, a mirrored lazy Susan, or a serving plateau. Still Life of Flowers on a Mirror is one of two still lifes arranged on a mirrored surface that Porter painted in the summer of 1966; the other is Still Life on a Mirror, which was sold by Hirschl & Adler Galleries in 1995. Both paintings feature the same vase with an array of red and white flowers, as well as a small bud vase placed in the same relative position to the larger vase. The paintings differ in the other elements of their still-life arrangements: the present picture contains a cruet of olive oil and a pepper mill, while the other has a peach and a porcelain sugar bowl.