Charles Alfred Meurer Oil Painting
Additional information
  • An original 19th Century Oil Painting by well-listed French painter Charles Alfred Meurer (American born in Germany, 1865-1955) | Oil on Canvas Interiorscape | Housed in a period gold gilt gesso wood Frame | Dimensions: 40.0″ W x 33.5″ H x 3.5″ D.  The painting depicts an interior scene of country home in Lyon, France. The painting is full of period wooden furniture and decor. One shelf of the home is full of small paintings, and another is lined with small religious statues. A woman sits to the right spinning wool on an antique drop spindle. A white dog naps sits in the foreground, and a small cat sits on a shelf in the background waiting for a kettle of water to boil | A faint outline where a figure churning butter was once painted in the piece’s center is visible.  It seems this overpainting was completed at the same time as the rest of the piece, indicated it was done by the artist’s hand and not edited later. The painting has craquelure over portions of the paintings as is consistent with its age.  It has been relined with new canvas for preservation. The painting is signed “C A Muerer,” dated 1891, and labeled “Lyon, France” in red paint to the lower right.  It is presented in the original antique frame with stunning cast floral and arabesque embellishments; between this lies a deeply set curve of gilt finish.  The frame has some chips and losses consistent with its age.

    Born in Germany of American parents, Charles Meurer became the last living link to the heyday of the trompe l’oeil painting style. He settled in Terrace Park, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati, and maintained a studio there for many years. He continued to paint after both of his legs were amputated, asserting that he still had his brushes and his spirit. Many of his trompe l’oeil works have reproductions of money, and he has also done painting with hunting motifs that are similar to work by Michael Harnett, the man credited with founding the trompe l’oeil style in America.  Meurer was raised in Clarksville, Tennessee. In his youth as a beginning artist, he was commissioned by Adolph Ochs, editor of the Chattanooga Times newspaper to paint a still life incorporating the front page of the paper with a figure surrounded by books and other objects of editorial wisdom. Meurer succeeded and used this theme in many subsequent paintings. This mode of still life painting was later described as editorial-sanctum still life, something that emphasizes with appropriate objects authority (books), industry (pen and inkwell) and respectability (money). Many journalism offices today have paintings or copies of them with that motif. Meurer studied art with Frank Duveneck in Cincinnati and then went to Paris and Lyon for further study in France. In 1886, according to his telling, he was converted to trompe l’oeil painting when he saw the work of Michael Harnett at the Cincinnati Industrial Exposition of 1886. He also recalled seeing rack pictures of John Frederick Peto in Cincinnati art galleries in the 1890s.

  • Artist / Maker

    Charles Alfred Meurer


    19th Century










    XL (greater than 40 in.)


    Figurative, Interiorscape, Portrait


    Relined Canvas


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