**ONE OF TWO PAINTINGS BY THE ARTIST IN MY SHOP**. BARTON STONE HAYS (1826-1914) was born in Ohio, and he came to be associated with the Midwest throughout his life, becoming a leading portrait painter in Indianapolis, and finally, coming to be known for his still life works, based out of Minneapolis, after 1882. Early in his life he was a Daguerreotypist, diorama painter and portrait painter, and there are some rare and sought-after genre paintings, some even of African-American subject matter. Perhaps best known as a teacher of William Merritt Chase, Hays is listed in a number of classic publications on American art, including Gerdts' Art Across America, Pioneer Painters of Indiana, Art and Artists of Indiana, and Dictionary of American Artists before 1860. His still life works featuring grapes, apples, peaches, oranges and baskets, possess a cold stillness often found in American still life of the second half of the 19th century. Works by the artist are routinely handled by America's finest art dealers and auction houses. This painting of purple grapes, oranges, and peaches on a table top measures 9 3/4" by 14 1/2" and is presently in 2 inch wide old gold framing that might actually be an inner frame, the outer, original true frame long separated. The frame has wear as shown, and the painting's surface is a bit dusty and dull, lacking varnish. A cleaning, likely the first of its existence, would be very beneficial.
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