Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Banker's Table

Artist:
William Michael Harnett (1848–1892)
Date:
1877
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
8 x 12 in. (20.3 x 30.5 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Purchase, Elihu Root Jr. Gift, 1956
Accession Number:
56.21
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 774
In a departure from the fruits and vegetables Harnett painted at the outset of his career, this tabletop still life represents manufactured objects. The leather-bound volumes, stained ink bottle, and much-used quill pen show “the mellowing effect of age,” which the artist praised in an undated interview. The varied objects reveal Harnett’s skill in rendering different textures. Although the rolled coins and other currency probably determined the title, there is nothing in the work or its history to indicate that it was commissioned by or painted for a particular banker.
Signature: [at lower right]: WMH [monogram] ARNETT / 1877
probably with Downtown Gallery, New York, before 1955; with Edwin Hewitt Gallery, New York, 1955
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