An Introduction to Still Life
- Over the centuries artists have chosen the subject of still life for a variety of reasons: to reflect the status of their owner, be it humble or haughty; for their symbolic meaning which reveals a hidden story or idea; to capture the natural beauty of transient object like a flower or fruit; to demonstrate the artist's skilled painting technique; or as a controlled structure to express the abstract qualities of the visual elements.
- Traditionally, still life is the drawing and painting of items such as fruit, flowers and household objects, which are usually arranged on a table top.
- Willem Kalf painted still lifes which reflected the opulent lifestyle and status of their owner.
- Harmen Steenwyck illustrated objects that communicated a hidden message to the viewer.
- Henri Matisse intensified our experience of fruit, flowers and exotic artifacts with his expressive use of colour.
- Juan Gris used still life to experiment with the way we perceive objects in space and time.
- Giorgio Morandi creates calm, sensitive still lifes which are the product of deep contemplation and observation over a considerable period of time.
- Still life as a subject has provided a platform for artists of different eras to explore their relationship with the world of objects that surround us.
- As our world evolves, new products, artefacts and modern media will continue to suggest new avenues for the stylistic development and reinvention of still life as a subject in art.