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Still life- a history of

From Egypt to present day - a whistle stop tour of the highlights of still life development in Western art.
by

Shelly Chapman

on 4 February 2013

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Transcript of Still life- a history of

A Short History of Still life Egyptian and Roman Still life Antecedents A 'still life' is a work of art, drawing or painting of a collection of inanimate objects which can be either natural or man-made.

The French for still life is 'nature morte', meaning 'dead nature' referring to the subject matter of early still life's often being flowers, fruit, and other kinds of food or dead animals. Late Middle ages Giotto By the 1300's starting with Giotto and his pupils
artists began to depict still life objects within
larger religious paintings often in small trompe-l'œil style niches within a painting.

During the Middle ages all painting was religious in nature and still life objects often conveyed symbolic meaning. Renaissance 1400's -1600's Petrus Christus 'Still Life with
Wine and Smoking Implements' Jan Van Eyck
'The Arnolfili Marriage'
Around 1390-1441 The emergence of rich traders allowed art to break away from purely religious themes (although often they persisted in terms of symbolism) while a harking back to the classical age (Greek and Roman art and literature) lead to more naturalistic depictions of objects and the return of the still life. DaVinci & Durer These artists were among the first to break free from religious meaning concentrating on precise examinations of natural objects. 'Still-Life with Partridge and Gauntlets, 1504'
His few surviving paintings (about twelve) include the first known example of trompe l'oeil since antiquity Leonardo Da Vinci Albrecht Dürer Jacopo de' Barbari Bodegón Vanitas 'Starting in the Baroque period, Bodegón paintings became popular in Spain in the second quarter of the 17th century.

These paintings depicted pantry items, such as victuals, game, and drink, often arranged on a simple stone slab, and also a painting with one or more figures, but significant still life elements, typically set in a kitchen or tavern. It also refers to low-life or every day objects, which can be painted with flowers, fruits, or other objects to display the painter's mastery'
From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodeg%C3%B3n Juan Sánchez Cotán
' Quince, Cabbage, Melon and Cucumber, 1602,' Francisco de Zurbarán 'Agnus Dei,
(Lamb of God in Latin)1635-1640. Francisco de Zurbarán 'Bodegón
(Still Life with Pottery Jars), circa 1605.' is a genre of still-life painting that flourished in the Netherlands in the early 17th century.

The name refers to a passage of the Bible in Ecclesiastes 1:2, which says 'vanity of vanities - all is vanity'. The idea was that people love the pleasures in life, the things that make them feel important or wealthy, and yet it all means nothing because time soon passes and we all die. Pieter Claesza
'Vanitas, 1630.' Linard, Jacques 'Vanitas, c.1644 Willem Claeszoon Heda
'Still life, 1651.' Egyptian tombs were painted with still life objects for use in the afterlife. Objects were stacked one on top of the other and no thought was given to perspective or shading.
The Greeks and Romans made wall paintings and mosaics which showed more realistic perspective and shading. These were used as signs of hospitality and as celebrations of the seasons and of life. Egyptian Tomb painting "Still Life with Peaches, found at Herculaneum" "Still life with eggs and thrushes,
from the Villa di Giulia Felice, Pompeii" Adriaen Van Utrecth 'Still life
with a bouquet and a skull, 1642 The Symbolism of Flowers The most common flowers and their symbolic meanings include: Rose (Virgin Mary, transience, Venus, love);
Lily (Virgin Mary, virginity, female breast, purity of mind or justice);
Tulip (showiness, nobility);
Sunflower (faithfulness, divine love, devotion);
Violet (modesty, reserve, humility);
Columbine (melancholy);
Poppy (power, sleep, death). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Still_life 19th Century With the rise of the European academies still life fell from favour and became the lowest in a hierarchy of themes.

In the 1830's with the fall of Neo-classicism, Realist and Romantic painters such as Francisco Goya, Gustave Courbet, and Eugène Delacroix again began to include still life in their body of work Francisco José de Goya
"Still Life with Slices of Salmon, 1808-12" Eugène Delacroix. Still Life with Lobsters. 1826-1827 Cezanne Cubism Impressionism Morandi Picasso and Braque Paul Cézanne "Nature Morte, (Still life)" Detail of pear - see the range of intense
colours and the broad brushstrokes Paul Cezanne 'Still life with ginger
jar and eggplants, 1890-1894.' Paul Gauguin. 'Still Life
with Three Puppies. 1888.' Paul Guaguin. 'Still Life
with Mandolin 1885.' Soutine Chaïm Soutine 'Le boeuf écorché, circa 1924 Expressionism Gauguin Van Gogh Chaïm Soutine
'Le Lapin (the rabbit)
circa 1923 - 1924 Van Goghs Chair-1888 Pablo Picasso 'Loaves and
bowl of fruit on a table',
1909 Pablo Picasso 'Still Life with Chair Caning',
1912. Georges Braque ' Still Life Pitchers,
1932 (mixed media print) Georges Braque.
Vanitas. 1939 Georges Braque.
The Black Fish. 1942 Edouard Manet. Bundle of
Asparagus. 1880 Edouard Manet. Roses and Tulips in a Vase. c.1882. Claude Monet. Still Life with
Pears and Grapes. 1880 2oth Century Audrey Flack. 'Marilyn (Vanitas)', 1977-78 Audrey Flack 21st Century Sam Taylor -Wood Sam Taylor -Wood,
A Little Death (2002) Sam Taylor -Wood,
'Still Life' (2001) New Zealand Sylvia Siddell, 'Greed' Shane Cotton Seraphine Pick, 'Still life', 1997 Jim Dine Wayne Thiebaud Frances Hodgkins, 'Berries
and Laurel', circa 1930. Surrealism Dali Salvador Dali, 'Soft Watch
at Moment of First Explosion René Magritte René Magritte 'The Treachery of Images' 1928-9. René Magritte, 'Memory of a voyage', 1952 Post Impressionism Matisse Gustave Courbet. 'Still Life with Fruit
(Apples and Pomegranates)'. 1871. Giorgio Morandi, 'Still Life
(Natura morta)', 1951.
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