The bounty of nature is depicted in this arrangement of freshly picked, crisp Baldwin apples, at the time the most popular variety in New England. The subject was a favorite of Chapin’s and one he often returned to throughout his career.
This painting is a fine example of the artist’s still life compositions depicted in an outdoor setting. Instead of the lush, naturalistic environment favored by many artists of the era, Chapin presents the apples on the ground, in a simplified greenish-brown setting, devoid of grass, forcing the viewer to focus on the beautifully rendered fruit. In the foreground, a twig provides contrast, with its leathery leaves evidencing a brisk autumn and an orchard, ripe for the picking.
A hallmark of Chapin’s style is that the fruit oftentimes does not appear to be firmly resting on the surface – be it a highly-polished tabletop, or the ground – causing the fruit to appear to be slightly hovering. A fault, certainly, but a charming idiosyncrasy.