In Memoriam poem for John Peto, 1907 Nov. 30
Creator: Samuel Callan
Although John Frederick Peto is now recognized as one of America’s great trompe l’oeil (“fool the eye”) painters, he died in obscurity. Interest in Peto revived in 1949, when it was proved that many paintings attributed to trompe l’oeil master William Harnett were actually Peto’s work. At Peto’s death in 1907, his friend Samuel Callan penned a memorial poem that foreshadows Peto’s future fame: So modest, he no master’s skill did claim, In stature small, his heart was large, sincere; Still, Lights of Other Days may make his fame, And, praise award he seldom knew while here. Lights of Other Days, a 1906 painting, is now considered to be Peto’s masterpiece.