Still Life Painting

Still Life Painting

Still-Life Painting as an independent genre of art became popular as the form of Western Art in the 17 th century. Still-life painting actually refers to the depiction of inanimate and typically commonplace objects, either natural or man-made.

The origin of still-life painting can be traced back to the 17 th century era in Holland and Flanders in the European continent.

In these countries the tradition of still-life painting rose from the applied arts to the prominence of easel painting with a variety of themes ranging from purely decorative including lush flower and fruit subjects, to reflections upon the concision of mundane existence using the metaphors of books, candles, skulls and other such objects. Artists of that era specialized in still life painting rather than employed it as one of the several subjects in their oeuvre.

In the late 19 th century, still-life painting was completely transformed by the artists of that age who deftly simulated shadows and reflections, colors and textures in illusionistic still lifes designed to fool the eye of the viewer. The still-life paintings were often used to decorate the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs as the pharaohs of ancient Egypt were believed to be great patrons of still-life painting. Still-life paintings finely portray the human need to surpass the barriers of time and achieve immortality. The themes of still-life paintings are always associated with the object of story-telling, for instance, a sunflower from a Van Gogh painting relates the concept of abstractism on one hand, while on the other a pomegranate from a Cezanne painting depicts impressionism of 19 th century France. These famous painters found in still-life painting the challenge of exploring the realms of reality.

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