A Closet Door
Oil on canvas
40 1/4 x 30 1/8 in.
signed, u.l.: John F Peto [as a compositional device]
[see file for old label information]
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
A letter rack, which held notes, cards, and other mementos, was a highly personal subject for trompe l’oeil painters that effectively served as a complex “portrait” of a patron or even the artist himself. This example by Peto seems less than humorous and offers a glimpse into the reserved painter’s private world. Age, decay, and collapse are the common strains running through this odd collection of objects, perhaps reflecting Peto’s own exhaustion as he slowly succumbed to painful kidney disease.