John Frederick Peto


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(b Philadelphia, 21 May 1854; d Island Heights, NJ, 23 Nov. 1907).

American still-life painter. With his friend Harnett he is now considered the outstanding American still-life painter of his period, but he was little known during his lifetime and after his death was completely forgotten until rediscovered in the 1940s by the critic Alfred Frankenstein. His style was strongly influenced by Harnett (whose signature has sometimes been fraudulently added to paintings by Peto), but his work was softer and more anecdotal, often depicting discarded objects. Peto worked in his native Philadelphia, then from 1889 in seclusion at Island Heights, New Jersey.

Subjects: Art.

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