Saturday, September 29, 2018

Still Life—Violin and Music by WIlliam Michael Harnett

From The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, 1983.

Click to enlarge.

16 WILLIAM MICHAEL HARNETT, 1848-1892 Still Life—Violin and Music
Oil on canvas; 40 x 30 in. (101.6 x 76.2 cm)

In this work of 1888 Harnett pushes trompe-l'oeil painting to its limits, presenting objects in a daring range of spatial planes: the sheet mu-sic and calling card are shown with edges bent, not flat; the partly open door suggests depth behind it; heavy items are suspended on strings or balanced precariously on nails. Harnett delights in the textures and subdued colors of the old violin and its gleaming strings; in the silver, ivory, and granadilla piccolo; in the metal hinges, horseshoe, hasp, and lock. His technical brilliance and popular subject matter made him the most emulated American still-life painter of his generation. Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1963, 63.85

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