In this rare, signed study, Miller exhibits his talent for capturing a bounty of fruit set in a lush, natural landscape, with contrasting textures of grass, earth, and twigs. A cluster of plums rests on a grassy bed, with skin hues of ruby, gold, and orange contrasting against a verdant backdrop of loosely defined foliage.
This study may have been done in preparation for a completed painting, or perhaps as an idea for a piece the artist was contemplating. The focus of the composition is on the fruit and the interplay of light and dark, a painting technique called chiaroscuro. In this piece, Miller may also have been exploring texture, color schemes, or perspective. It was not intended as a finished work.
This study was among the contents of Miller’s studio left at his death and provides a unique glimpse into the artist’s creative process.