Still Life History: 0 Contents

Anne Vallayer-Coster (1744–1818), A Still Life of Mackerel, Glassware, a Loaf of Bread and Lemons on a Table with a White Cloth (1787), further details not known. Wikimedia Commons.

This gives an overview of the series of articles covering the history of still life painting. Articles are divided into sections covering the history, reasons for painting still lifes and special themes. Periods covered and lists of artists are given for each, together with a representative or important example painting from each period.


Hans Memling (c 1430-1494), Flowers in a Jug (c 1485), oil on panel (verso of Portrait of a Young Man Praying), 29.2 x 22.5 cm, Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain. Wikimedia Commons.

Hans Memling, Jacopo de’ Barbari, Giuseppe Arcimboldo, Giovanni Ambrogio Figino, Caravaggio, Juan Sánchez Cotán, Fede Galizia, Clara Peeters, Ambrosius Bosschaert
1 Birth of a new genre

Clara Peeters (fl 1607-1621), Still Life with Flowers and Gold Cups of Honour (1612), oil on oak, 59.5 x 49 cm, Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe, Germany. Wikimedia Commons.

Clara Peeters
2 Clara Peeters the pioneer

Willem Kalf (1619–1693), Still Life with Ewer, Vessels and Pomegranate (c 1645), oil on canvas, 103.5 x 81.3 cm, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA. Wikimedia Commons.

Pieter Claesz, Juan de Zurbarán, Pieter Boel, Willem Kalf, Pieter Claesz, Carstian Luyckx, Evert Collier, Cornelis Norbertus Gijsbrechts, Rembrandt, Jan Weenix, Nicolaes de Vree
3 The Dutch Golden Age

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin (1699–1779), The Ray (1727), oil on canvas, 114.5 x 146 cm, Musée du Louvre, Paris. Wikimedia Commons.

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Jan van Os, Johann Amandus Winck
4 Rays, copper, and scythes in the 18th century

Gustave Caillebotte (1848–1894), Fruit Displayed on a Stand (c 1881-82), oil on canvas, 76.5 x 100.6 cm, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Boston, MA. Wikimedia Commons.

Henri Fantin-Latour, Gustave Courbet, Elihu Vedder, Frédéric Bazille, Antoine-Ferdinand Attendu, Gustave Caillebotte, Claude Monet
5 The rise of Impressionism

Claude Monet (1840–1926), Bouquet of Sunflowers (1881), oil on canvas, 101 x 81 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY. Wikimedia Commons.

Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro, Alfred Sisley, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Henry Lerolle
6 Impressionists

Paul Cézanne (1839–1906), Still Life with Carafe, Bottle, and Fruit (1906), watercolour and soft graphite on pale buff wove paper, 48 x 62.5 cm, Princeton University Art Museum, Princeton, NJ. Wikimedia Commons.

Paul Cézanne
7 Paul Cézanne

Vincent van Gogh, Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers (1888), oil on canvas, 93 x 73 cm, The National Gallery, London. WikiArt.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Still Life: Vase with 15 Sunflowers (1888), oil on canvas, 93 x 73 cm, The National Gallery, London. WikiArt.

Vincent van Gogh
8 Vincent van Gogh

Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Still Life on a Red Checkered Tablecloth (1930-35), watercolour, gouache and pencil on paper, 31.1 x 24 cm, Private collection. The Athenaeum.

William Harnett, Odilon Redon, Paul Sérusier, Olga Boznańska, Nikolai Astrup, Pierre Bonnard
9 Into the twentieth century

Jeylina Ever (?1960-), Vanitas Symbolizing Childhood Disease, Culture, Time Passing and Death (2009), acrylic on canvas, 42 cm X 26 cm, location not known. Wikimedia Commons.

Felix Esterl, Frances Hodgkins, Janet Fish (not illustrated), Ellen Altfest, Jeylina Ever, Tjalf Sparnaay
10 Modern times


William Merritt Chase
Why paint a still life? 1 Warming up

Henri Fantin-Latour
Why paint a still life? 2 Sales

Lovis Corinth, Charles Demuth
Why paint a still life? 3 Therapy

Themes in still life paintings:

A place at the table

Deceiving the eye

A is for apple