artist

William Harnett

    17 
    Click to Favorite
    Click to Share

William Harnett was an Irish-American painter who immigrated to the American East Coast as an infant to escape the Irish potato famine. He supported himself for engraving silverware as a youth, and not completing one of his trademark still lives until 1874, at age 26. Harnett’s still lives are almost exclusively trompe-l’œil works, meaning that the objects in them were so realistically rendered that they appeared capable of being removed from the canvas. Like many accomplished artists of his time, Harnett traveled extensively in Europe to round out his study of painting techniques. Although he mainly sold his work to non-art institutions (like restaurants and offices), his paintings were inducted into museum collections including the Cleveland Museum of Art, The National Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Read more

Editorial (2)

See all
Six of Art’s Best Tricks of the Eye

Six of Art’s Best Tricks of the Eye

Illusion in art may feel like a recent phenomena, but it’s been around since cave paintings. With each new era, artists have…

William Harnett’s Art of Deception

William Harnett’s Art of Deception

In this series, the curatorial team presents one work from the Meural art library we find essential. (See all installments.)…

Playlists (1)

See all
16

William Harnett: Featured Works

Click to More

Related artists

See all
John Frederick Peto

John Frederick Peto

American, 1854–1907
Maurice Prendergast

Maurice Prendergast

American, 1858–1924
Joseph Stella

Joseph Stella

American, 1877–1946

Works (17)

Date updatedTime periodName