Still life (from the French. Nature morte – dead, inanimate nature) – an artistic image of various household items.
In the XV-XVI centuries, a still life was considered as part of a historical or genre composition. Early still lifes often performed a utilitarian function, for example, as a decoration of cabinet doors or to mask a wall niche.
As an independent painting genre, a still life was formed in the 17th century in the works of Dutch and Flemish artists.
The term nature morte (dead nature) appeared in the XVIII century and reflected the neglect of still life by academic circles, which preferred the “high” genres, the area of which was “living nature” (historical, battle, allegorical, religious, mythological). Until the end of the XIX century, a still life was considered as a “lower” genre. Continue reading