Tell me more.
William Michael Harnett was an established professional painter in New York who was known for still life paintings of fruit, household objects, and musical instruments.
Harnett's paintings were particularly popular with successful businessmen who wanted art to decorate their homes. This arrangement of objects, including a pipe, tobacco, and newspaper, would have been associated with a male owner in the 19th century.
The texture of the strokes adds a particular 'realness' to the painting, is that characteristic of the artist's work?
Yes! Harnett looked to 17th century Dutch and Spanish still life painting for inspiration where you can find similar techniques. His highly realistic style, known as trompe l'oeil, meaning "fool the eye", was part of what made his work so popular.
Thanks for the info!