Biography: Little is known about the life of the prolific still-life painter Severin Roesen, although some of his biography was pieced together by Judith O'Toole. Roesen was German and likely from Cologne. He may have trained as a porcelain painter there, before he moved to New York in 1848. Roesen sold work through the American Art Union from 1848 through 1852, placing paintings with collectors from Maine to New Orleans. He left New York around 1857, and headed to Pennsylvania. Starting in 1860, Roesen lived for about twelve years in the area of Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where the lumber industry provided customers for his work. He produced many works for homes and bars in the area and developed friendships with important local families. He had students who may have assisted with his paintings. His last known painting is dated 1872, suggesting that the artist may have died that year or soon after.
All of Roesen's known paintings are still-life pictures containing fruit and/or flowers, and his style draws on the Dutch baroque tradition. He often set his still-life elements on marble shelves and frequently reused motifs--particular dishes, glasses, blooms, and nests appear in multiple canvasses.