Bill Scott, The Cherry Tree

Bill Scott: The Cherry Tree (2011) Oil on canvas
The Cherry Tree
Oil on canvas
Credit Line
Gift of Vivian Bullaudy and Hollis Taggart, 2011
61" x 32"

Scott uses specific historical paintings as points of departure. The Cherry Tree is based on French Impressionist Berthe Morisot's cherry harvest paintings of 1891. He uses compositional elements from Morisot's painting as the springboard for the structure of his own. One can discern the diagonals of the ladder, the arch of the foliage, negative spaces of blue sky, and outlines of the figures' dresses. However, as John Zarobell, former Assistant Curator of Collections at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, states, "There the visual similarities end. . . . It is more an improvisation, like Coltrane playing a Cole Porter tune, forcing the underlying formal relation-ships of the source into a decisively experimental rendition. . . . When looking at The Cherry Tree, the Morisot picture is not necessary as a point of reference, but Scott's engagement with it amplifies his and our sensibilities; what he loves about the Morisot is expressed in this painting and expands its reach."

As a young artist, Scott was drawn to Morisot's paintings and he spent a summer visiting her family in France. He has also written about Morisot for the Philadelphia Museum of Art's catalogue Manet and the Sea (2004).

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