History of Still-Life

Satisfactory Essays
History of Still-Life

Flanders C16- Installed quite religious and common settings into the

pieces, the extremely detailed oil on canvas works were often home to

kitchen-like objects and utensils. Different foods such as cabbages,

fish and hares were used especially to capture reflection from the

surrounding light, thus creating a very real, almost touchable

effect. Drink glasses were layered repeatedly to produce a realistic

transparency; yet another method in generating such detailed realism

in the piece.

Dutch C17-In this period, the artists had not completely cast off and

thrown away any such relation to religion; they just concentrated

sorely on the idea of symbolism and reflection of light. To a

modern-day viewer, the still-life would appear to be an assortment of

strange objects placed on a wooden table. But to the seventeenth-

century Dutch observer, the paintings conveyed the theme of vanitas:

objects that symbolized the vanity of worldly things and the brevity

of life. The skull and bones refer to death, the books and writing

instruments to excessive pride through learning, and the fragile glass

goblet of wine to temporary pleasure. A golden cup on its side would

suggest immoderate wealth, and a man smoking a pipe displays idleness.

The obsessive layering of oil paints by the artists was their way of

creating accuracy and perfection. As modern day people have found,

the pigments suspended in the oil paints, which have lasted until

current years have slowly turned brown, and therefore have demanded

attention in the form of cleaning.

France C18-19- Adopting basically the same principle of painting,

although lesser applied, Jean Siméon Chardin, a self taught artist

situated in Paris acquired his acclaimed reputation as still life’s

foremost artist. Self-taught, his thick, rather textured technique

suited every middle and capital class (bourgeoisie (who made the

French revolution and Impressionism)) household. Many pieces were

minuscule, and all his pieces showed off his skills as an artist.

Elevating to look at such as “The Jar of Apricot” and “The Ray”

(1758), the depth and use of reflections were mesmerising and


Paris turn of C20-This was the phase when artists really started to

adopt new styles to express there ideas. Braque, Picasso, Cezanne,

Picasso and Matisse were the fore founders, innovating cubism, block

colours, experimental studio time, and a different way of perceiving

art by twisting the laws of perspective. Now artists would churn out

many more pieces, for now, no longer would apiece take months and

months to complete. Particular pieces of the above artists’ work

include: “Lemons against a Fleur De Lys background” (Matisse-1943),

“Still Life with a Chair Caning” (Picasso 1911-12), and “Still-life

with a Plaster Cupid” (Cezanne-1895).
Get Access