William Harnett was a Irish-American trompe-l’œil still life painter best know for his compositions involving everyday objects. The objects and artifacts of patrons who bought his work could often be seen in the paintings. His painting “The Artist’s Letter Rack”depicts a letter board pinned with old scraps of paper and mail. The image suggests a place of work and the text on the envelopes and scraps of paper suggest the business that commissioned the painting.
Harnett’s technique was impeccable though his subject matters weren’t in the traditional realm of fine art.