As Laurien Gilbert explains:
William Harnett emigrated from Ireland to the US during the potato famine. Working as an engraver during the day, he took night classes at art schools in Philadelphia and New York…evidently to great effect! His still lifes fall under the heading of American Realism. While he did paint the obligatory musical instruments, tankards, and hanging game, it was his interest in the unusual (horseshoes, books, bills), and the trompe l’oeil precision of his renderings, that made him special.
This painting, Materials For A Leisure Hour, was painted in 1879 and today hangs in the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid. And how could the materials for an hour of leisure not include a bottle of beer and a tankard for your beer.