Tuesday, March 4, 2014
William M. Harnett 3.12.1969
This US stamp issue on 3.12.1969 at Boston, MA honours American artist William M. Harnett, whose paintings are so lifelike he was once charged with counterfeiting.
William Michael Harnett (August 10, 1848 – October 29, 1892) was an Irish-American painter known for his trompe l'oeilstill lives of ordinary objects.
Harnett was born in Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland during the time of the potato famine. Shortly after his birth his family emigrated to America, settling in Philadelphia. Becoming a United States citizen in 1868, he made a living as a young man by engraving designs on table silver, while also taking night classes at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and later, in New York, at Cooper Union and at the National Academy of Design. His first known oil painting, a still life, dates from 1874.
Crippling rheumatism plagued Harnett in his last years, reducing the number but not the quality of his paintings. He died in New York City in 1892. Other artists who painted similar compositions in Harnett's wake include his contemporary John Haberle and successors such as Otis Kaye and Jefferson David Chalfant.
Thank you Merja.