Still Life Painting Reproductions - Page 9

Still life is a work of art which represents a subject composed of inanimate objects. Popular in Western art since the 17th century, still life paintings, such as of flowers or fruit, 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.

Still life paintings often adorn the walls of ancient Egyptian tombs. It was believed that the foodstuffs and other items depicted there would, in the afterlife, become real and available for use by the deceased. Similar paintings, more simply decorative in intent, have also been found in the Roman frescoes unearthed at Pompeii and Herculaneum. The popular appreciation of still life painting as a demonstration of the artist's skill is related in the ancient Greek legend of Zeuxis and Parrhasius.

Through the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, still life in Western art was mainly used as an adjunct to Christian religious subjects. This was particularly true in the work of Northern European artists, whose fascination with highly detailed optical realism and disguised symbolism led them to lavish great attention on the meanings of various props and settings within their paintings' overall message. Painters such as Jan van Eyck often used still life elements as part of an iconographic program so dense that scholars to this day are still debating the possible symbolic significance of each flower, candle, or stone.

Still life came into its own in the new artistic climate of the Netherlands in the 17th century. While artists found limited opportunity to produce the religious art 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.

Especially popular in this period were vanitas paintings, in which sumptuous arrangements of fruit and flowers, or lavish banquet tables with fine silver and crystal, were accompanied by symbolic reminders of life's impermanence. 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. Often some of the luscious fruits and flowers themselves would be shown starting to spoil or fade. The popularity of vanitas paintings, and of still life generally, soon spread from Holland to Flanders, Spain, and France.

The French aristocracy of the 18th century also employed artists to execute paintings of bounteous and extravagant still life subjects, this time without the moralistic vanitas message of their Dutch predecessors. The Rococo love of artifice led to a rise in appreciation for trompe l'oeil (French: "fool the eye") painting, a type of still life in which objects are shown life-sized, against a flat background, in an attempt to create the illusion of real three dimensional objects in the viewer's space.

With the rise of the European Academies, most notably the Academie francaise which held a central role in Academic art, and their formalized approach to artistic training, still life began to fall from favor. The Academies taught the doctrine of "Hierarchy of genres" (or "Hierarchy of Subject Matter"), which held that a painting's artistic merit was based primarily on its subject. 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.

It was not until the decline of the Academic hierarchy in Europe, and the rise of the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist painters, who emphasized technique and design over subject matter, that still life was once again avidly practiced by artists. Henri Fantin-Latour is known almost exclusively for his still lifes. Vincent van Gogh's "Sunflowers" are some of the best known 19th century still life paintings, and Paul Cezanne found in still life the perfect vehicle for his revolutionary explorations in geometric spatial organization.

Indeed, Cezanne's experiments can be seen as leading directly to the development of Cubist still life in the early 20th century. 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 "Still Life with Chair Caning" (1912).

Artists in the United States, largely unburdened by Academic strictures on subject matter, had long found a ready market for still life painting. Raphaelle Peale (1774-1825), eldest son of Revolutionary era painter Charles Willson Peale, was the first American still life specialist, and established a tradition of still life painting in Philadelphia that continued until the early 20th century, when artists such as William Harnett and John Frederick Peto gained fame for their trompe l'oeil renderings of collections of worn objects and scraps of paper, typically shown hanging on a wall or door.

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. 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.

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 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. Typical in this regard are the paintings of Don Eddy and Ralph Goings. The works of Audrey Flack add to this mix an autobiographical Feminist message relating to cultural standards of female beauty. While they address contemporary themes, Flack's paintings often include trompe l'oeil and vanitas elements as well, thereby referencing the entire still life tradition of Western art.

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Still Life with a Tazza, Peeled Lemon and Roemer, c.1630 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16074
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 39.4 x 57.2 cm
Private Collection

Still Life with Silver Ewer and Watch, 1643 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with Silver Ewer and Watch 1643

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$2078
Canvas Print
$56.97
SKU: HWC-16073
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 79 x 59 cm
Petit Palais Musee des Beaux Arts Paris France

A Still Life with a Silver Tazza, a Roemer with White Wine and Ham, undated by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16072
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 54 x 65 cm
Private Collection

Still Life of a Roemer and a Facon de Venise, 1630 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16071
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 41.5 x 57.3 cm
Private Collection

Still Life of a Pewter Kanne, a Roemer, an Overturned Silver Beaker Resting on a Pewter Plate, 1634 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16070
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 57.5 x 82 cm
Private Collection

A Still Life with a Roemer, Silver Tazza and Ham, 1642 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16069
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 59.4 x 79.4 cm
Private Collection

Still Life with a Silver Ewer, Nautilus Cup and Ham, c.1650/55 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16068
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: unknown
Private Collection

Still Life of Ham and Silver Plate, 1649 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life of Ham and Silver Plate 1649

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$2106
Canvas Print
$53.60
SKU: HWC-16067
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 97 x 80.5 cm
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts Moscow Russia

A Still Life with a Silver Goblet and a Watch on a Pewter Plate, undated by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16066
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 40 x 29.5 cm
Private Collection

Still Life with Fruit Pie and various Objects, 1634 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16065
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 43.7 x 68.2 cm
Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum Madrid Spain

Still Life on a Table, 1638 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life on a Table 1638

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1485
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: HWC-16064
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 50.2 x 68.6 cm
The Royal Collection London United Kingdom

Still Life with Silver Ewer and Pie, 1645 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with Silver Ewer and Pie 1645

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1525
Canvas Print
$50.43
SKU: HWC-16063
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: unknown
Public Collection

Still Life with Oysters, a Silver Tazza and Glassware, 1635 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16062
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 49.8 x 80.6 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art New York USA

Banquet Piece with Mince Pie, 1635 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Banquet Piece with Mince Pie 1635

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$3089
Canvas Print
$73.51
SKU: HWC-16060
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 106.7 x 111 cm
National Gallery of Art Washington USA

Banquet Piece with Ham, 1656 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Banquet Piece with Ham 1656

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$3760
Canvas Print
$55.58
SKU: HWC-16059
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 111.7 x 152.4 cm
Museum of Fine Arts Houston USA

Still Life with Fly, undated by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with Fly undated

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1354
Canvas Print
$54.47
SKU: HWC-16058
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 52 x 68 cm
Public Collection

Tobacco Still Life, 1637 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Tobacco Still Life 1637

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1234
Canvas Print
$57.93
SKU: HWC-16057
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 42 x 54.6 cm
Los Angeles County Museum of Art California USA

Still Life with Oysters, a Rummer, a Lemon and a Silver Bowl, 1634 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16056
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 43 x 57 cm
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen Rotterdam Netherlands

Still Life with Pie, Silver Can and Crab, 1658 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16055
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 103 x 123 cm
Frans Hals Museum Haarlem Netherlands

Still Life with Meat Pie, 1633 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with Meat Pie 1633

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1956
Canvas Print
$56.00
SKU: HWC-16054
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 58.6 x 79 cm
Frans Hals Museum Haarlem Netherlands

Still Life with Nautilus Cup and Oyster, 1640 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16053
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 68.5 x 50 cm
Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery The Hague Netherlands

Still Life with a Roemer and Watch, 1629 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with a Roemer and Watch 1629

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1490
Canvas Print
$51.13
SKU: HWC-16052
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 46 x 69.2 cm
Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery The Hague Netherlands

Still Life with Nautilus Cup, 1641 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction

Still Life with Nautilus Cup 1641

Willem Claesz Heda
Oil Painting
$1603
Canvas Print
$58.64
SKU: HWC-16051
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 59.5 x 79 cm
National Museum Warsaw Poland

Still Life with a Ham and a Roemer, c.1631/34 by Claesz Heda | Painting Reproduction
SKU: HWC-16050
Willem Claesz Heda
Original Size: 59 x 82.5 cm
Philadelphia Museum of Art Pennsylvania USA

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