still life with cream and blue tankard at left, folded "Times" newspaper dated 1877 at center, ivory and wood flute with bottom joint removed, pipe leaning on a blue box at right and several burned matchsticks; several areas of highly-raised impasto: matchsticks in LRC and LLC, highlights on pipe and tankard

Still-life with Flute and Times, 1877

Oil on canvasexpand_more

Bequest of Donald J. Luckerexpand_more  2015.82.2

2015 Accession Highlight

In 1886, Irish-born William Harnett was arrested by New York police for displaying one of his paintings. His depiction of a five-dollar bill was so realistic he was charged with counterfeiting and scolded for wasting his talents on such endeavors. Clearly Harnett was a talented trompe l’oeil, or “trick the eye,” painter. Still-life with Flute and Times displays the same convincing deception: the mimetic stoneware texture of the stein and the thin, raised rim of the pipe bowl are created through meticulous layering and build-up of paint.

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still life with cream and blue tankard at left, folded "Times" newspaper dated 1877 at center, ivory and wood flute with bottom joint removed, pipe leaning on a blue box at right and several burned matchsticks; several areas of highly-raised impasto: matchsticks in LRC and LLC, highlights on pipe and tankard