TATE COLLECTION


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Still life 

One of the principal genres (subject types) of Western art. Essentially, the subject matter of a still life painting or sculpture is anything that does not move or is dead. So still life includes all kinds of man-made or natural objects, cut flowers, fruit, vegetables, fish, game, wine and so on. Still life can be a celebration of material pleasures such as food and wine, or often a warning of the ephemerality of these pleasures and of the brevity of human life (see Memento mori). In modern art simple still life arrangements have often been used as a relatively neutral basis for formal experiment, for example by Paul Cézanne and the Cubist painters. Note the plural of still life is still lifes, and the term is not hyphenated.
 

Paul CÚzanne, Still Life with Water Jug, circa 1892-3
Paul CÚzanne
Still Life with Water Jug
circa 1892-3
 
Edward Collier, Still Life, 1699
Edward Collier
Still Life
1699
 
Ben Nicholson OM, 1934-6 (painting - still life), 1934-6
Ben Nicholson OM
1934-6 (painting - still life)
1934-6