Just Dessert

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.

Date:

1891

Artist:

William Michael Harnett
American, born Ireland, 1848–1892

About this artwork

One of only three works William Michael Harnett painted in the year before his death, Just Dessert offers the viewer a display of foodstuffs sumptuously arranged on a marble surface. The traditional tabletop composition is one that Harnett often employed in his still lifes. In Just Dessert, the exotic clashes with the quotidian—Maraschino liqueur, half a coconut, and Smyrna figs rest alongside a copper
pitcher, pewter tankard, and ginger jar. Small crumbs of cork are visible on the grapes and fig seeds are smashed on the side of the wooden box, indicating that the dessert has been eaten, as well as highlighting Harnett’s skillful renderings in trompe l’oeil (fool-the-eye) painting.

On View

American Art, Gallery 173

Artist

William Michael Harnett

Title

Just Dessert

Origin

United States

Date

1891

Medium

Oil on canvas

Inscriptions

Signed, lower right: "Harnett / 1891"

Dimensions

56.6 × 68 cm (22 1/4 × 26 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Friends of American Art Collection

Reference Number

1942.50

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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