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History of Still Life Painting

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by

Lindsey Foushee

on 10 November 2017

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Transcript of History of Still Life Painting

History of Still Life Painting
Ancient Egypt
The earliest know still-life artwork was produced in Ancient Egypt. The paintings were produced in temples as offerings for the gods. Realism was not important.
Ancient Greece & Rome
These were more realistic than the Egyptians' efforts. Still-life appears in mosaics on the floors and paintings - especially at Pompeii (the Roman town covered by ash in the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79). Colors and shading are more realistic.
Northern European Renaissance
After the fall of Rome, interest in still-life disappeared until the 1500s in Northern Europe. While Italian Renaissance had renewed interest in Ancient Greece & Rome, the North developed oil paint, which allowed for greater detail in paintings. Objects began to take on symbolism, as well as depicting wealth and showing the artist's skill. Realism was essential to these artists.
Northern European Renaissance
In addition to being an art form of its own, still life objects were included in other types of paintings. The items chosen were meant to be symbols about the subject of the painting.
Northern European Renaissance
A very specific type of still life is the
vanitas
painting. The idea was that people love the pleasures of life, the things that make them feel important or wealthy, and yet it all means nothing because time soon passes and we die. Artists used symbols to show this, like skulls, burnt candles, and wilting flowers.
Impressionism - 1800s
After the Renaissance ended, Impressionist & Post-Impressionist artists in the 1800s continued to paint still lives. Instead of realism, they experimented with color, shapes, and the way paint was applied to the canvas to create beautiful works. Symbolism became less important.
Cubism - Early 1900s
Pablo Picasso & Georges Braques invented Cubism as a way of showing several sides of an object at once. They felt it was a better representation of an object because you could see more of it.
A Still Life is a work of art, a drawing or painting (usually) of a group of objects. Objects do not move, hence the word 'still'. In the past these objects tended to be flowers, fruit, and other kinds of food or dead animals - hence 'life'. The French for still life is 'nature morte', meaning 'dead nature'.
The Ambassadors
, Hans Holbein, 1533
Modern Still Life Painting
Modern painting is more of a reflection of an artist's style, so paintings during the 20th century have developed into more abstract and unrealistic images. Some artists use collage, paint, or photography to create modern-day still lives.
Andy Warhol
Janet Fish
Doug Bloodworth
https://blog.whsmith.co.uk/still-life-art-a-walk-through-history/
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