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What is still life?

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What is still life?

Still life (from fr. Nature morte - “dead nature”) is a genre of art depicting inanimate objects in a specially created composition.

Let us consider in more detail what a still-life is, into which species it can be divided.

17th century Netherlands still life

In the Dutch still life of this era, for the most part, they measured a measured, as if frozen life.

Ambrosius Boshart the Elder: fragments of work.At this time in Holland still life as a genre developed quite intensively, aided by various factors. At this time, there was a high level of scientific development in mathematics, physics, natural sciences, and social sciences. Sailors brought a lot of new items from abroad, new technologies for making various things appeared, many different beautiful goods were placed in the shop windows.

 Baltasar van der Ast: fragments of works.There are two types of popular still lifes at this time - the flower and the scientist.

Flower still life

Since the 40s. XVII century still life began to develop as an independent genre. Its popularity is easily explained: at that time it was considered traditional to have lush gardens, to actively engage in the cultivation of flowers.

Jan David de Hem: fragments of works.Representatives: Ambrosius Boshart the Elder, Baltasar van der Ast, Jan David de Hem.

Scientist still life

It is considered an intellectual type of still life. To understand such a still life, a person needs to understand the Bible and religious symbolism. Often in this genre illusions are used to create an optical illusion. They gained the greatest popularity in the middle of the 17th century in Holland and abroad.

Floris van Dyke: fragments of works.Among the popular artists are the following: Jacob de Gein the Younger, Floris van Dijk, Hans van Essen, Amborius Bosharth the Elder and the Younger, Clara Peters, David Bailey, Maria van Osterweik, Cornelis Breeze, Abraham Minion, Willem van Aalst, Jan van Heisum.

Still life in Russia XVIII-XX centuries.

As a genre, still life took shape in Russia at the beginning of the 18th century. Until the 19th century, it was considered a lower genre, it was understood to be limited mainly as a simple composition, for example, staging from fruits and flowers. Initially, still life depicted gifts of the sea and the earth, various things.

Maya Kopyttseva and Evgenia Antipov: fragments of works.In the XX century, this genre has risen a step higher, this is the time of its heyday in Russia. Began the search for new colors, shapes, compositions. Within just 15 years, still life has changed from impressionism to abstract art.

In the 30-40s In the twentieth century, the development of the genre was slightly halted, but in the 1950s a new rise was taking place, and the still life strengthened its position among other painting genres.

Konstantin Korovin: fragments of works.Russian artists who worked at that time: Petr Konchalovsky, Viktor Teterin, Sergey Zakharov, Nikolai Pozdneev, Ilya Meshkov, Konstantin Korovin, Sergey Osipov, Maya Kopytseva, Evgenia Antipova, Yaroslav Krestovsky, Kapitolina Rumyantseva, etc.

Still life XX-XXI centuries.

Still life in this era - a wide field for experimentation. This genre develops in various fields:

  • Georges Braque and Giorgio Morandi: fragments of works.Cubism - Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, Fauvist and Expressionist;
  • Cubofuturism - Vladimir Tatlin, Kazimir Malevich;
  • metaphysical painting - Alexander Canoldt, Giorgio Morandi, Rene Magritte, Salvador Dali;
  • Audrey Flack: fragments of works.pop art - Andy Warhol, Wine Thibault, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg;
  • photorealism - Audrey Flack, Don Eddy, Robert Kottinham;
  • neo-pop - Jeff Koons, Patrick Caulfield, Takeshi Murakami, Damien Hirst.

Now, knowing what a still-life is, if you wish, you can practice this genre.


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