Our Art / William Harnett / The Old Violin

The Old Violin by William Harnett
The Old Violin by William Harnett on the Depict FrameThe Old Violin by William Harnett

The Old Violin, 1886

William Harnett

This still life is deceptively simple: a violin, a sheet of music, a small newspaper clipping, and a blue envelope, shown against a green wooden door. But in the tradition of still lifes, the painting holds multi–layered meanings about the relationships between illusion and reality, old and new, and momentary and enduring. At the heart of such meanings is the fleeting nature of time, which the artist alludes to by showing signs of wear and age throughout the painting: the rusty hinges, the curling sheet music, the rosin-dusted violin. The violin, though silent, speaks evocatively of past pleasures.

From the Playlists
National Gallery of Art
Get the Depict Frame
Display this piece - and hundreds more - at home with the Depict Frame, the world’s first museum-quality digital art canvas.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay current on new artworks, upcoming art shows, and more!
© 2019, Depict