AFTER THE HUNT by Alfred Frankenstein
Kirkus Star


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A beautiful book and some very perceptive detecting on the part of the San Francisco Chronicle's distinguished art critic, make a gift to the art world in general and a grand item for the special interest in the late 19th century American Illusionist school, so long obscured, whose outstanding proponents were William Harnett, John Peto and John Haberle. When Harnett's still life paintings, best characterized by the expression trompe l'oeill because they look so like the thing itself, were first discovered they posed problems immediately. There were two distinct styles and many were obviously forgeries. Frankenstein found the old studio of Peto who painted the same kinds of objects, usually books, old papers, guns etc. on a solid wall backdrop, in the same way. Though honest himself, many of Peto's works were presented as Harnett's. There followed more discoveries- John Haberle, and a whole second and third ""circle"" of such artists bringing their number into the hundreds. Frankenstein's critical biographies of the three main ones are fascinating reading, his resumes of the others succinct, and his conclusions about an amazing period are sharp social and artistic comment. A fine study, illustrated with a profusion of excellent reproductions. For this market, a real find.

Pub Date: Sept. 12th, 1953
Publisher: University of California Press