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Europeans & Americans Abroad; Philadelphia Collection 73; September 2004
 
 
painting
 
Frans Moormans
(Dutch, 1831–1893)
The Goldfish Bowl
Oil on canvas, 8 1/2 × 6 1/4 inches
Signed at lower right: “Frans. Moormans”


Born in Rotterdam, Frans Moormans studied at the Academy in Anvers and later taught at the Academy in Amsterdam. He exhibited widely in Europe and won a medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1889. His genre paintings, examples of which are in museums in Montreal and Rouen, include multi-figural works and single figures in decorative interiors, like the painting illustrated here.

The Chinese were probably the first to keep goldfish in garden pools and containers, and the French are known to have adopted the practice by the eighteenth century. By the nineteenth century, goldfish bowls were popular in middle-class interiors in Europe and the United States, and a subject for genre painters.



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