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.
- William Michael Harnett
- Just Dessert
- United States
- Oil on canvas
- Signed, lower right: "Harnett / 1891"
- 56.6 × 68 cm (22 1/4 × 26 3/4 in.)
- Friends of American Art Collection