Harnett, William Michael (härˈnət) [key], 1848–92, American painter, b. Ireland. He emigrated to Philadelphia as a child; he first learned engraving and then studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and at the National Academy of Design and Cooper Union. He executed mainly still lifes and excelled in the rendering of textures and trompe-l'œil (eye-deceiving) realistic effects. Examples of his work are After the Hunt (Calif. Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco), Emblems of Peace (Springfield Mus. of Fine Arts, Mass.), and The Faithful Colt (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Conn.).
See A. Frankenstein, After the Hunt (rev. ed. 1969).
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