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

The Old Violin by William Harnett
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
  Old Violin by John F. Peto
John Frederick Peto, The Old Violin, c. 1890, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Gift of the Avalon Foundation 1974.19.1
   
   
Peto's Old Violin, with its broken string and damaged body, hangs at a precarious angle, while Harnett's (in better condition) is squarely suspended on the door. Both paintings speak to the effects of time's passage, the nostalgic associations of music, and the interplay between illusion and reality.



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