John Haberle was born in New Haven, Connecticut, in 1856. As a teenager he worked as a printer’s apprentice, but in 1875 he was hired to make illustrations of scientific specimens and to prepare displays for the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale. Haberle was one of the founding members of the New Haven Sketch Club, formed in 1883, and this experience led him to decide to pursue art as a career. He attended the National Academy of Design for a year, but was already painting in a trompe l’oeil style on his own time. These paintings were very popular with the public, and were known to hang in barrooms and restaurants as well as art galleries. He made these works for only a few years, until his eyesight began to fail in the 1890s. He died in 1933.