Still Life with Watermelon
Oil on canvas, 20 × 16 inches
Signed and dated at lower right: “Geo. Cope. 189[?]”
George Cope was born in western Chester County, Pennsylvania, the son of Quaker parents. He taught himself to draw and briefly took
painting lessons from the German immigrant artist Herman Herzog (1831–1932).
During the late 1870s Cope traveled to the West, where he painted landscapes
and Indian subjects. He moved to Philadelphia in 1881 and specialized in painting
still-life subjects. Cope returned to West Chester in 1883, earning a living as
an art teacher and restorer. During the late 1880s he began to paint trompe
l’oeil subjects—usually representing hunting gear or fishing tackle—that
reflect the influence of the Philadelphia painter William Michael Harnett
(1848–1892). Cope was probably attracted to these subjects because he was an
avid hunter and outdoorsman.
Copyright©2008 The Schwarz Gallery