I have so much fun discovering new artists, it really fills me with a great energy. I recently stumbled upon a very interesting, lesser known artist named John Peto. It was quite the happy accident, and I have fallen in love with the painter's style and ability to capture objects of the everyday man with such realistic charm.
Peto was an American painter born in Philadelphia in 1854. His specialty was still life, specifically known as the style of trompe l'oeil ("fool the eye"). Not much is known about his artistic life, but he did begin study at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1877. After his marriage in 1887, he built a new home at the coastal resort of Island Heights, New Jersey, and became a professional cornet player. He sold paintings to local shopkeepers and summer visitors to the town, but never exhibited anywhere beyond the local drugstore. His work was virtually unknown until rediscovered by the critic Alfred Frankenstein in 1947.
I love the worn look of the objects Peto uses, especially all the ephemera he works into his paintings. It's a joy to look at and so much fun to wonder about. I hope you'll take some time to discover the objects in the paintings and engage in a discussion about his artwork with your child! Enjoy!
Information about this artist was adapted from The Artchive website.