Silent and frozen life, inert objects artfully arranged, Still Life in painting is an artistic form that has defined the history of art since the 17th century. The Flemish painters were the first to express themselves with their still lifes.
Jan Davidz de Heem (1606-1684)
Jan Davidz de Heem (1606-1684) is a classic product of the Flemish School. If he was introduced to the painting of flowers by his father at a very young age, it is at Leyden that he discovered the symbolism of the objects. Between learning monochromy and the discovery of an austere form of thought he started introducing these movements to the pupils of Rubens. One of his major works, “A Table of Desserts”, painted in 1640, is a remarkable work in which you can distinguish each of these major influences. This oil painting is exhibited at the Louvre.
Jacob Van Es (1596-1666)
Jacob Van Es painted in 1630 one of the oldest and most famous still lifes: “Fruits in porcelain”.
Jean-Baptiste Siméon Chardin (1699-1779)
This Parisian painter, and academician has left in his wake many works, and most specifically “La Raie”, a Still Life, oil painting on canvas, painted in 1728 and exhibited at the Louvre. Copied by Cézanne and Matisse, it has always been admired by all included Diderot who questioned his view on the “saving the disgust of certain natures by talent” in other words, how to make beautiful what is not more than ordinary.
Paul Cézanne (1839-1906)
Geometry of volumes, the relationship between colours and shapes, empty and full, Still Life is omnipresent in Cézanne’s work. It was in 1998 that the impressionist painted the “Still Life with Skull”, one of his most famous works and today exhibited in Philadelphia.
Georges Braques (1882-1963)
The pioneer of cubism with his friend Picasso, Georges Braques has left us many Still Lifes in which most often appear musical instruments such as “Still Life with Clarinet” (1927). With its naturalist and abstract forms, this new impetus is badly recognized in its time.
Still life paintings on Singulart
There are countless objects that are suited to the still life genre. Anything that is not ‘living’ can become the subject, the confines of the contemporary still life are more open and creative than ever before.
Paul Hazelton creates complicated structures, like mind maps, with messages and ideas being transmitted along their pathways through the medium of graphite. The subjects of his drawings, although recognisable, become geometric webs of threadlike lines.
A Leaf, A Life, © Paul Hazelton, Singulart Artist
Nicholas Mcleod paintings have a certain familiarity that is capable of resonating with almost anyone.