Secretary’s Table

William Michael Harnett, a renowned American artist of the 19th century, created a remarkable painting titled ""Secretary's Table."" Painted in 1879, this artwork holds a special place in Harnett's oeuvre. The painting portrays a meticulously arranged collection of objects on a secretary's desk, including books, a quill pen, letters, and a small globe. Harnett's attention to detail and masterful use of trompe-l'oeil technique bring these objects to life, captivating viewers with their stunning realism. ""Secretary's Table"" stands as a testament to Harnett's artistic prowess, highlighting his ability to transform mundane subjects into captivating works of art.

33 cm

Please note: by default the aspect ratio of the original artwork is used.

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Total € 195

Title: “”The Enchanting Realism of William Michael Harnett’s ‘Secretary’s Table'””
Year Painted: 1879

William Michael Harnett, a celebrated American artist of the 19th century, created a captivating masterpiece known as “”Secretary’s Table”” in 1879. This remarkable painting holds a significant place in Harnett’s body of work and continues to captivate art enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.

“”Secretary’s Table”” portrays an exquisitely arranged collection of objects on a desk typically found in a secretary’s office. Harnett’s meticulous attention to detail and his extraordinary trompe-l’oeil technique make this painting truly exceptional. Each element, from the books and quill pen to the letters and small globe, is rendered with astonishing precision, creating an illusion of three-dimensional reality.

What makes “”Secretary’s Table”” particularly special is Harnett’s ability to infuse ordinary objects with a sense of intrigue and narrative. The composition invites viewers to delve into the world of the secretary, to imagine the stories behind the open letters, the volumes of knowledge held within the books, and the journeys suggested by the tiny globe. Harnett’s meticulous arrangement and play of light and shadow contribute to the overall atmosphere, evoking a sense of quiet contemplation and intellectual pursuit.

The significance of “”Secretary’s Table”” lies in its representation of Harnett’s artistic genius and technical mastery. The painting showcases his unparalleled ability to transform everyday objects into mesmerizing works of art. Harnett’s attention to detail, combined with his skillful execution of the trompe-l’oeil technique, brings the objects to life, captivating viewers and challenging their perception of reality.

Moreover, “”Secretary’s Table”” exemplifies Harnett’s contribution to the genre of still-life painting. In an era when landscapes and portraits dominated the art scene, Harnett elevated the humble still-life to a level of prominence. By meticulously depicting objects from everyday life, he challenged the notion that only grand subjects were worthy of artistic representation. Harnett’s ability to find beauty and meaning in the mundane and transform it into a visual spectacle is truly remarkable.

“”Secretary’s Table”” remains a testament to Harnett’s artistic prowess, his keen eye for detail, and his ability to create enchanting narratives through paint and canvas. It invites viewers to appreciate the beauty of ordinary objects and reflects the artist’s remarkable skill in capturing their essence. This painting continues to inspire and fascinate, leaving an indelible mark on the world of art.

Original size:
75 x 50 cm (width x height)
Art style:
Minimal order width:
50 cm
Maximum order width:
183 cm

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