Art for the Nation    
The Old ViolinWilliam Harnett, Trompe l'Oeil MasterPainting Money  
Trompe l'Oeil William Harnett  
   

Rotating images by William Harnett

William Michael Harnett, My Gems, 1888, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Avalon Foundation 1957.5.1
William Michael Harnett, After the Hunt, 1884, The Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, Ohio
William Michael Harnett, The Old Violin, 1886, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Mellon Scaife in honor of Paul Mellon 1993.15.1
William Michael Harnett, A Sprig of Plums, 1873, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon 1985.64.98

 

The Banker's Table by William Harnett
William Michael Harnett, The Banker’s Table, 1877, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Purchase, Elihu Root Jr., Gift, 1956. (56.21), © 1988, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

 

  The Five Dollar Bill by William Harnett
William Michael Harnett, Still-Life Five Dollar Bill, 1877, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Alex Simpson Jr. Collection
   
An industrious worker, Harnett produced some 250 canvases in his seventeen-year career. While not accepted by critics into art's highest echelon (many of whom considered his work machinelike, lacking artistic inspiration), his paintings were immensely popular with the public, who usually encountered them not in museums or galleries, but in saloons, department stores, and hotel lobbies. By the time William Harnett died at age forty-four in 1892, he was a commercial success.



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