Noted for his highly finished and realistic paintings, George Henry Hall spent more than twenty years of his life traveling and studying nature. His still life works, usually placed in natural settings, are seen as heavily influenced by critic John Ruskin's theories and by the American Pre-Raphaelite movement.
He was born in Manchester, New Hampshire but moved to Boston at the age of four. He began training for a career in art at the age of sixteen when he departed for Dusseldorf, Germany. He studied for a year in the city and then went to Paris and finally to Rome, where he opened his own studio.
By 1852 he was back in America, with a studio in New York City, and he would become an associate of the National Academy of Design the following year. Upon his arrival he began to actively exhibit his still life works in galleries around the world and soon became one of the most well-known still life painters of the period. In fact, he would become one of the most financially successful artists of the era as well, earning over twelve thousand dollars for a collection of his work in 1865.
Though he started his career as genre and figure painter, he soon transitioned primarily to still life, and began to focus on fruit and flower paintings around 1857, which earned him the strongest acclaim for their realism and finish. In the late 1860s he made a brief return to figure pictures, but quickly returned to the still life genre.
His works are in some of the most important collections in the world, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, Massachusetts.