Still Life is a very popular painting genre that we have likely all seen at least once in our lives especially if you have an interest in art. What sets Still Life from other art forms is that the objects in the paintings are usually lifeless objects rather than people or other living entities. In this article about the still life genre in painting, we will be telling you everything about this well-known genre and why it is so popular.
Origins of the Still Life Genre.
This art form began in what is known as the Greco-Roman Era which is a period of history that began in 332 BC from the moment when the Ancient Greek Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great defeated the Persians in Egypt. This period lasted until the 6th century AD, thanks to the Romans taking big inspiration from Greek culture in their religion and other aspects of their culture including art.
However, art that can be put in the genre was found in Ancient Egyptian tombs, but it was not until Ancient Greek culture became dominant and artists purposely tried to follow the art category’s convention.
The aim of such paintings during that time was for them to be realistic and to help create an accurate representation of the lives that different members of society were living which included more exotic foods and also paintings with bouquets of flowers. They were also a major status symbol at the time. Furthermore, some individuals shared the belief that if they buried their loved ones with still paintings of their goods that they will be able to use them in the afterlife.
Famous Still Life Artists.
Many of the most famous artists in the world have dabbled in creating still life paintings; these artists include Pablo Picasso who is a famous Spanish artist who created a few popular paintings in the still life style of subjects such as a bottle full of rum and also a painting where the topic was glass and compote.
Furthermore, there is the Dutch painter and artist Vincent van Gogh who created a large number of still life paintings throughout his life which were mostly made up of a large number of items that were on top of a table although some of the artworks were also located outside on the ground.
Finally, there is Salvador Dali who also hails from Spain and is behind the famous Living Still Life painting that is created in Dali’s unique and renowned style. These are just a few of the many famous artists that dabbled in this art genre which is a key stepping stone for the majority of artists around the world.
One of the Most Popular Types of Art.
The beauty of this art genre is that allows you to see the everyday objects around you in a new light because regardless if you are the creator of the article or just a viewer you will be concentrating and admiring simple everyday items such as a milk carton that usually you will not pay any attention to.
Additionally, it is a very neutral art style that can fit in almost all environments without any issues such as the painting looking out of place with the environment or the other artworks that are out on display.
Apart from that, the actual simplicity of painting allows the painter to make it very detailed, which makes it a great style to hang up a wall in your home as it will provide the people in the property something interesting to explore.
What Makes a Still Life Painting Great.
In this article about the still life genre in painting, we will discuss what makes a still life painting great. On the outside it may look like a very easy artwork to create, you just gather a few items and put them on some kind of surface, usually a table, but can be the floor, for example.
However, there is much more to it than that, first you have to find and if you are lucky enough pick the items that you are going to be assembling together. After that, there is still more work as you have to assemble them and arrange them in the way that you are going to be painting them.
You can check out great artworks that will inspire you on the LeoSystem.art art portal.
Anyway that can hold a paintbrush and has access to paint can create artwork in such a genre, but the best and most experienced artists will add meaning to their artwork and will also masterfully guide the attention of the viewer to what they want the viewers to see and pay attention to.
A Great Way of Exploring Life Throughout Time.
This kind of artwork is also a very important way for us to figure out how people lived in the past, with many historians using artwork in this genre to understand the kind of food people ate at the time, the tools they used as well as the ideas of beauty and status at the time.
In the painting, A Meat Stall with the Holy Family Giving Alms by Pieter Aertsen where you can see the types of food that were sold at markets during the 16th century in the Netherlands. These foods included sausages, whole birds, and even a cow head.
But the artwork of this common genre is most useful for periods of time when writing was not as common such as the 70 AD painting that was created in Pompeii which shows the type of diet some members of society at the time may have been consuming. This is important as in the Roman Empire the average literacy rate was between 5% and 10%, with very little attention being paid to record the lives of ordinary people.
The Still Life Genre Varies From Region to Region.
The beauty of this art style is that its simplicity allows for a lot of variations from region to region as well as for certain artists to innovate and create their very own unique style such as those of Salvador Dali and Vincent van Gogh that we have mentioned further above. One of the most dominant sub-categories that are still widely popular today is 16th Century Realism which emerged from Holland during the Dutch Golden Age.
It is a style where the background is generally either dark or bland which allows for the other objects to stand out; all of the objects are expensive or exotic. This is because it was a popular way for rich families to show off their wealth to everyone else, with a lot of the objects’ beauty often being exaggerated by the artist. Later on, this helped spawn a separate subcategory also from the Netherlands, known as Vanitas which tries to warn society against being vain.
There are also more modern styles such as Cubism which was popularized by Pablo Picasso as well as other artists; it is an abstract style that divides up the subject into different shapes such as squares and also triangles.
Why You Should Have a Go at Still Life Paintings.
Finally, in this article about the still life genre in painting, we are going to be telling you why it is a good idea to have a go at painting in such a style. First of all, it is an art form that anyone can get into, you do not have to spend a lot of money buying items instead you can open your fridge or food cupboards and pick a few things out that grab your interest. Moreover, you can do it all in the comfort of your home, you do not need any human subjects to help you or pose for your painting.
The main reason, however, is that you will be able to practice painting a large variety of different items that come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, and colors. Therefore, if you stay persistent you will very quickly see a great improvement in your ability as a painter.