John Board For Smith Bros. Coal Co., created in 1879 by the American Realist artist, John Frederick Peto, is an oil-on-board painting. It doesn’t feature much contrast, but the carefully crafted details and subtle figures are noted to be exhilarating when viewed from a close distance. Although it’s not certain who currently owns the artwork, scholars claim it could have been commissioned by Smith Bros. Coal Co. The elements of the painting reflect on the sentiment of struggles and hardships of a specific economic era.
Viewing this work today sends chills down anyone’s spine as each element speaks for itself in terms of depicting emotion and adding depth to our understanding of a time long gone. John Peto’s ability to capture what can’t be seen with eyes alone combined with his impeccable talent have left many saddened by his works execution or moved beyond words by its beauty and substance.
The timelessness of John Fortunate Peto’s oil-on-board painting demonstrate one the incredible feats of art from history — a priceless gift from days gone by that reminds us that humanity has had its fair share personal hardships regardless of economic standing or wealth. With this in mind, we become privy to insight into other pieces of artwork such as Zapata – Jose Clemente Orozco – (1930).