Still Life with Bowl (Lionel and Clarissa--A Comic Opera)

Claude Raguet Hirst (American, 1855-1942)
Still Life with Bowl (Lionel and Clarissa--A Comic Opera), 1922
Oil on canvas
Gilbreath-McLorn Fund and Gift of Museum Associates (91.280)
Height: 20.3 cm Width: 25.6 cm
Additional images may be viewed in Argus

Guiding Questions

Why do you think the artist might have chosen to paint these objects together?

How might you describe the different textures of each object?

About the Art

This painting is an example of a still life. A still life generally includes only inanimate, or nonliving objects, and is a specific category of painting, like landscape or portrait. The artist chose objects from around her house, including a book titled Lionel and Clarissa, and arranged them in an attractive way before painting them.

About the Artist

Born Claudine Raguet Hirst, the artist worked under the name Claude to conceal her gender because some people believed women could not be good artists. Hirst worked in a very realistic style called trompe l’oeil, which means “fool the eye” in French. The pages of the book look almost as if you could reach out and turn them.


Discuss the ways functional objects can be used as art. Consider the Pepper Casters made by Paul Revere II.

What objects from around your house might you choose to include in a still life?

Additional Resources

View another still life painting by Claude Raguet Hirst: