PETO, John Frederick
(b. 1854, Philadelphia, d. 1907, New York City)


American painter. He trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1877-78), Philadelphia, where he became a friend of William Michael Harnett whose work was a dominant influence on his oeuvre. Peto maintained a studio in Philadelphia, exhibiting at the Academy from 1879 to 1887; he earned a living through occasional work as a photographer, sculptor and painter. After moving to Island Heights, NJ, in 1889, he stopped exhibiting at the Academy and sank into obscurity.

While Peto's oeuvre reveals him starting out from the genre of trompe-l'oeil in the manner of Harnett, it shows him arriving, in his latter years at a style closer to the maxims of the avant-garde. Many of his paintings which are close to the style of Harnett were for a long time attributed to the latter.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.