Probably the finest American painting at Clayton, this modest trompe l’oeil still life measures less than eight by ten inches. The French expression trompe l’oeil means to “fool the eye” and it is used to describe a style of extreme illusionism in painting. Harnett, made a name for himself as the quintessential American trompe l’oeil painter. It is said that when his paintings were publicly exhibited, guards were required to prevent onlookers from trying to remove objects from the painting.


  • Title: Still Life
  • Creator: William Michael Harnett
  • Creator Lifespan: 1848/1892
  • Creator Nationality: American
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: New York, New York, United States
  • Creator Birth Place: Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland
  • Date: 1890/1890
  • Physical Dimensions: w9.5 x h7.5 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on panel

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