painting - Still life

painting - Still life
Photograph by MagicToDooron Flickr.

He also simplifyied perspective and introducing multi-color backgrounds. As for insects, the butterfly represents transformation and resurrection while the dragonfly painting Still life symbolizes transience and the ant hard work and attention to the harvest. Dutch artists also branched out and revived the ancient painting Greek still-life tradition of trompe l’oeil, particularly the imitation of nature or mimesis, which they termed bedriegertje (“little deception”). Especially popular in this period were vanitas paintings, in which sumptuous arrangements of fruit and flowers, books, statuettes, vases, coins, jewelry, paintings, painting Bird-and-flower painting musical and scientific instruments, military insignia, fine silver and crystal, were accompanied by symbolic reminders of life s impermanence.

In 1901, Paul Gauguin painted Still Life with Sunflowers, his homage to his friend van Gogh who had died eleven years earlier. On the other hand, successful Italian still life artists found ample patronage in their day.

German painter Georg Flegel was a pioneer in pure still life without figures and created the compositional innovation of placing detailed objects in cabinets, cupboards, and display cases, and producing simultaneous multiple views. By the 18th century, in many cases, the religious and allegorical connotations of still life paintings were dropped and kitchen table paintings evolved into calculated depictions of varied color and form, displaying everyday foods. Computer-generated graphics have expanded the techniques available to still life artists.

Other exponents of Fauvism, such as Maurice de Vlaminck and André Derain, further explored pure color and abstraction in their still life. Paul Cézanne found in still life the perfect vehicle for his revolutionary explorations in geometric spatial organization. While artists found limited opportunity to produce the religious iconography which had long been their staple—images of religious subjects were forbidden in the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church—the continuing Northern tradition of detailed realism and hidden symbols appealed to the growing Dutch middle classes, who were replacing Church and State as the principal patrons of art in the Netherlands.

Decorative mosaics termed “emblema”, found in the homes of rich Romans, demonstrated the range of food enjoyed by the upper classes, and also functioned as signs of hospitality and as celebrations of the seasons and of life. The popular appreciation of the realism of still life painting is related in the ancient Greek legend of Zeuxis and Parrhasius, who are said to have once competed to create the most life-like objects, history’s earliest descriptions of trompe l’oeil painting. By 1300, starting with Giotto and his pupils, still life painting was revived in the form of fictional niches on religious wall paintings which depicted everyday objects. His Still Life with Drawing Board (1889) is a self-portrait in still life form, with van Gogh depicting many items of his personal life, including his pipe, simple food (onions), an inspirational book, and a letter from his brother, all laid out on his table, without his own image present.

Jean-Baptiste Chardin’s still life paintings employ a variety of techniques from Dutch-style realism to softer harmonies. In the United States during Revolutionary times, American artists trained abroad applied European styles to American portrait painting and still life. Van Gogh uses mostly tones of yellow and rather flat rendering to make a memorable contribution to still life history.

It also prompted the beginning of scientific illustration and the classification of specimens. With origins in ancient times and most popular in Western art since the 17th century, still life paintings give the artist more leeway in the arrangement of design elements within a composition than do paintings of other types of subjects such as landscape or portraiture.

The French aristocracy employed artists to execute paintings of bounteous and extravagant still life subjects that graced their dining table, also without the moralistic vanitas message of their Dutch predecessors. Roy Lichtenstein’s Still Life with Goldfish Bowl (1972) combines the pure colors of Matisse with the pop iconography of Warhol.

Still life paintings, particularly before 1700, often contained religious and allegorical symbolism relating to the objects depicted. 1595-1600) is one of the first examples of pure still life, precisely rendered and set at eye level. Still life came into its own in the new artistic climate of the Netherlands in the 17th century (with the name stilleven: still life is a calque while Romance languages (and Russian) tend to use terms meaning dead nature).

Avant-garde movements rapidly evolved and overlapped in a march towards nonfigurative, total abstraction. Many of the great artists of that period included still life in their body of work.

A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on) in an artificial setting. It was believed that food objects and other items depicted there would, in the afterlife, become real and available for use by the deceased.

Wayne Thiebaud’s Lunch Table (1964) portrays not a single family’s lunch but an assembly line of standardized American foods. The rise of Photorealism in the 1970s reasserted illusionistic representation, while retaining some of Pop s message of the fusion of object, image, and commercial product. These specimens served as models for painters who sought realism and novelty.

The Rococo love of artifice led to a rise in appreciation in France for trompe l oeil (French: trick the eye ) painting. Additionally, a skull, an hourglass or pocket watch, a candle burning down or a book with pages turning, would serve as a moralizing message on the ephemerality of sensory pleasures.

In particular, Caravaggio applied his influential form of naturalism to still life. The still life, as well as other representational art, continued to evolve and adjust until mid-century when total abstraction, as exemplified by Jackson Pollock s drip paintings, eliminated all recognizable content. The century began with several trends taking hold in art.

and France. German still life followed closely the Dutch models. The group known as the Nabi, including Pierre Bonnard and Edouard Vuillard, took up Gauguin’s harmonic theories and added elements inspired by Japanese woodcuts to their still life paintings.

Similar still life, more simply decorative in intent, but with realistic perspective, have also been found in the Roman wall paintings and floor mosaics unearthed at Pompeii, Herculaneum and the Villa Boscoreale, including the later familiar motif of a glass bowl of fruit. However, Pop Art in the 1960’s and 1970’s reversed the trend and created a new form of still life.

Another similar type of painting is the family portrait combining figures with a well-set table of food, which symbolizes both the piety of the human subjects and their thanks for God’s abundance. The 16th century witnessed an explosion of interest in the natural world and the creation of lavish botanical encyclopædias recording the discoveries of the New World and Asia. Typical of the American still life works of this period are the paintings of Georgia O Keeffe, Stuart Davis, and Marsden Hartley, and the photographs of Edward Weston.

His Basket of Fruit (c. Some modern still life breaks the two-dimensional barrier and employs three-dimensional mixed media, and uses found objects, photography, computer graphics, as well as video and sound. Still life paintings often adorn the interior of ancient Egyptian tombs.

Charles Willson Peale founded a family of prominent American painters, and as major leader in the American art community, also founded a society for the training of artists as well as a famous museum of natural curiosities. With Impressionist still life, allegorical and mythological content is completely absent, as is meticulously detailed brush work.

He also painted his own version of a vanitas painting Still Life with Open Bible, Candle, and Book (1885). The first four decades of the twentieth century formed an exceptional period of artistic ferment and revolution. Especially in the wake of the computer age, and the rise of computer generated art and Digital art the nature and definition of still-life has changed.

The still life paintings of Francisco Goya, Gustave Courbet, and Eugène Delacroix convey a strong emotional current, and are less concerned with exactitude and more interested in mood. However, it was not until the final decline of the Academic hierarchy in Europe, and the rise of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, that technique and color harmony triumphed over subject matter, and that still life was once again avidly practiced by artists. Impressionists instead focused on experimentation in broad, dabbing brush strokes, tonal values, and color placement.

In these works, still life objects overlap and intermingle barely maintaining identifiable two-dimensional forms, losing individual surface texture, and merging into the background—achieving goals nearly opposite to those of traditional still life. When 20th century American artists became aware of European Modernism, they began to interpret still life subjects with a combination of American realism and Cubist-derived abstraction. Often some of the fruits and flowers themselves would be shown starting to spoil or fade to emphasize the same point. Another type of still life, known as “breakfast paintings”, represent both a literal presentation of delicacies that the upper class might enjoy and a religious reminder to avoid gluttony.

Prominent Academicians of the early 1600s, like Andrea Sacchi, felt that genre and still life painting did not carry the gravitas merited for painting to be considered great. The Impressionists and Post-Impressionists were inspired by nature’s color schemes but reinterpreted nature with their own color harmonies, which sometimes proved startlingly unnaturalistic.

Some mixed media still life work employing found objects, photography, video, and sound, and even spilling out from ceiling to floor, and filling an entire room in a gallery. These two views of flowers—as aesthetic objects and as religious symbols— merged to create a very strong market for this type of still life. The symbolism of flowers had evolved since early Christian days.

The early science of herbal remedies began at this time as well, a practical extension of this new knowledge. Additionally, Cézanne s experiments can be seen as leading directly to the development of Cubist still life in the early 20th century. Adapting Cézanne’s shifting of planes and axes, the Cubists subdued the color palette of the Fauves and focused instead on deconstructing objects into pure geometrical forms and planes.

Instead of using still life to glorify nature, some artists, such as John Constable and Camille Corot, chose landscapes to serve that end. When Neo-Classicism started to go into decline by the 1830’s, genre and portrait painting became the focus for the Realist and Romantic artistic revolutions. With the use of the video camera, still life artists can even incorporate the viewer into their work. .

Painters like Jan van Eyck often used still life elements as part of an iconographic program. The development of oil painting technique by Jan van Eyck and other Northern European artists made it possible to paint everyday objects in this hyper-realistic fashion, owing to the slow drying, mixing, and layering qualities of oil colors. Petrus Christus’ portrait of a bride and groom visiting a goldsmith is a typical example of a transitional still life depicting both religious and secular content. Natural objects began to be appreciated as individual objects of study apart from any religious or mythological associations.

Furthermore, women painters, few as they were, commonly chose or were restricted to painting topics such as still life, Giovanna Garzoni, Laura Bernasconi, and Fede Galizia for example. Many leading Italian artists in other genre, also produced some still life paintings. Though mostly allegorical in message, the figures of the couple are realistic and the objects shown (coins, vessels, etc.) are accurately painted but the goldsmith is actually a depiction of St.

In addition, wealthy patrons began to underwrite the collection of animal and mineral specimens, creating extensive “curio cabinets”. Ancient Greek vase paintings also demonstrate great skill in depicting everyday objects and animals.

His son Raphaelle Peale was one of a group of early American still life artists, which also included John F. In his early still life, Claude Monet shows the influence of Fantin-Latour, but is one of the first to break the tradition of the dark background, which Pierre-Auguste Renoir also discards in Still Life with Bouquet and Fan (1871), with its bright orange background.

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). For CĂ©zanne, still life was a primary means of taking painting away from an illustrative or mimetic function to one demonstrating independently the elements of color, form, and line, a major step towards Abstract art.

Eligius and the objects heavily symbolic. French artist Odilon Redon also painted notable still life during in this period, especially flowers. Henri Matisse reduced the rendering of still life objects even further to little more than bold, flat outlines filled with bright colors.

Between 1910 and 1920, Cubist artists like Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris painted many still life compositions, often including musical instruments, as well as creating the first Synthetic Cubist collage works, such as Picasso s oval Still Life with Chair Caning (1912). Shells, insects, exotic fruits and flowers began to be collected and traded, and new plants such as the tulip (imported to Europe from Turkey), were celebrated in still life paintings. By the second half of the 16th century, the autonomous still life evolved. Even though Italian still life painting was gaining in popularity, it remained historically less respected than the grand manner painting of historical, religious, and mythic subjects.

Typical in this regard are the paintings of Don Eddy and Ralph Goings. In the last three decades of the 20th century, and in the early years of the 21st century still life has expanded beyond the boundary of a frame. As Gauguin stated, “Colors have their own meanings.” Vincent van Gogh s Sunflowers paintings are some of the best known 19th century still life paintings.

Francis, Charles Bird King, and John Johnston. With the rise of the European Academies, most notably the Académie française which held a central role in Academic art, still life began to fall from favor. O’Keeffe’s ultra-closeup flower paintings reveal both the physical structure and the emotional subtext of petals and leaves in an unprecedented manner. In Mexico, starting in the 1930’s, Frida Kahlo and other artists created their own brand of Surrealism, featuring native foods and cultural motifs in their still life paintings. Starting in the 1930’s, Abstract Expressionism severely reduced still life to raw depictions of form and color, until by the 1950’s, total abstraction dominated the art world.

In the Academic system, the highest form of painting consisted of images of historical, Biblical or mythological significance, with still life subjects relegated to the very lowest order of artistic recognition. Much Pop Art (such as Andy Warhol s Campbell s Soup Cans ) is based on still life, but its true subject is most often the commodified image of the commercial product represented rather than the physical still life object itself.

The Academies taught the doctrine of the Hierarchy of genres (or Hierarchy of Subject Matter ), which held that a painting s artistic merit was based primarily on its subject. Added to this was the Dutch mania for horticulture, particularly the tulip.