Arts Everyday Living: A Trick of the Eye—The Perfection of Art & Music

William Harnett, Still Life with Violin and Music, 1888, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

“Life,’ wrote a friend of mine, ‘is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.”

E. M. Forster, A Room with a View

American artist William Harnett (1848-1892) specialized in still life, especially trompe-l’oeil works, perceived by a “trick of the eye” as three dimensional objects. The novels of British author E.M. Forster (1879-1970) have been made into late twentieth century movies including Room with a View, Howard’s End, and A Passage to India.

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