Still Life in Horseshoe Frame

by John Frederick Peto (1854–1907)
Oil on panel
9¾ x 9¾ inches (round)


Private collection

Michael Altman Fine Art & Advisory Services, New York, New York, acquired from above

Related Works

Books, Mug, Pipe and Violin, ca. 1880, oil on canvas, 25 x 30 inches; Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain

Mug, Pipe and Match, ca. 1887, oil on board, 6⅛ x 9¼ inches; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Mug, Book, Biscuits, and Match, 1893, oil on wood, 3 15/16 x 4¾ inches; National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC

Note: This work exemplifies John Frederick Peto’s mastery of the trompe l’oeil technique, which he often depicted in his still life paintings. The smoking pipe, book, and matches are typical of the banal objects he chose to depict.

Artist Biography

Born and raised in Philadelphia, John Frederick Peto would eventually join America’s lineage of talented trompe l’oeil painters including Raphaelle Peale and William Michael Harnett. Peto studied art at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where he met future mentor, Harnett, before 1880. Following Harnett’s realistic and studied portraits of everyday objects, Peto created paintings meant to “trick the eye” in their illusionistic representation of books, letter racks, and the various gathering of items placed there within. For reasons unknown, Peto’s paintings did not draw great attention until after his death and the artist spent his later

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