Cherubs with Yellow Apple and Strawberry

(1 customer review)


Cherubs with Yellow Apple and Strawberries, formerly Cherubs with Wandering Jew, 16″ x 20″ oil on canvas board, framed by the artist

Cherubs with Yellow Apple and Strawberries is a complex composition. The challenge is to direct the eye. It is also a message on the passage of time and thought and the meaning of being. I’d never given much thought to the Wandering Jew plant, more sensitively referred to now as “Wandering Dude” or “Spiderwort” (everyone hates spiders for some reason).

See comments below for more information about this plant. Whatever its called, the color variety and diverse shapes are amazing. Here are a variety of substances, each responding to the light in its own way.  A Still life is interesting because of what goes in and what goes out. The combination of items included can make us think. Sometimes it makes us feel. The rest is a delicious romp of color and the thrill of pushing paint.

More still life paintings

Additional information

Type of Work

Original Painting by Robert Maniscalco, Giclee – archival inks, stretch on canvas, Artists Proof (AP) – archival inks and paper

1 review for Cherubs with Yellow Apple and Strawberry

  1. Barbara Ann Harte…/

    Hi Rob,
    I have included two articles regarding the plant name “Wandering Jew” in your piece. There is controversy surrounding the common name for that plant. In most plant circles Tradescantia zebrina – what you and many others call “Wandering Jew” is being relabeled “Wandering Dude.” Here is an excerpt from one article that explains why the change:

    “Previously, Bloombox Club titled Tradescantia with their common name: ‘Wandering Jew.’ We assumed the name referred to the Israelites, sentenced to ‘wander’ through the desert in search of the promised land until the last member of the original generation (Moses) dies. But further research revealed ‘Wandering Jew’ to be connected to an apocryphal myth, one that has been used to justify anti-Semitism since at least the 13th century.

    The story goes that one of the men who taunted Jesus on his way to be crucified was cursed to walk the Earth until the Second Coming. In the context of the observable Jewish diaspora; the displacement of Jewish peoples from the Southern Levant in ancient times, and subsequent statelessness from anti-Semitic regimes, we are profoundly uncomfortable with using this moniker. Unfortunately, most of the internet doesn’t seem to feel that way. Although Tradescantia zebrina has other common names, including Spiderwort and Inch Plant, ‘Wandering Jew’ seems to be the only one that’s stuck.

    Bloomboxclub spoke to different plant communities about this quandary, and we think we’ve found a good alternative. The plant was named ‘Wandering Jew’, due to its hyper-adaptability and tendency to spread easily and quickly.

    While all of these qualities apply to the ‘Wandering Dude:’ the guy who gets around despite infrequent attention, and isn’t fussy about where he ends up! We believe that this is a better title, but if any wandering dudes are offended by the comparison, please get in touch …” This comes from this blog post:

    The other article addresses this same issue, along with commenting on other problematic “common names” in the plant world. As a plant nerd, I know this is very specialized information that most people aren’t aware of, however, as I know you are an avid progressive, I felt compelled to share this with you. The painting itself is lovely.

    • Robert Maniscalco

      Wow, Barbara, that is some fantastic and fascinating research. As you suggest, changing the title of the piece to “wandering dude” might divert people from the work itself. I will retitle it entirely. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I do like the term “Spider Wart, which was suggested in the second article you provide.” But still I think it takes away from the painting. I hope you like my new title, which is kind of a cop out. Perhaps others can come up with something more evocative.

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