William M. Harnett (American, 1848–1892)
The Old Violin, 1886
William Michael Harnett was the best-known and most influential still-life painter in America during the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The Old Violin, 1866, from the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, and reproduced in this poster, was in its time his most widely reproduced, most imitated, and most famous image. Stories of police controlling the crowds that it attracted when exhibited, particularly to restrain those who wanted to touch it to confirm the reality of its illusion, are almost folkloric. Today it is universally considered not only a masterpiece by this artist, but also a triumph of trompe l'oeil illusionism in general.
Poster Size: 38 x 24 inches