Still Life – A painting or drawing of an arrangement of objects that do not move, such as flowers or fruit in a bowl
Producing a worthy still life painting or drawing is a classic skill that an artist needs to acquire early in their career. The subject of still life artworks can be so varied, from an old boot to scissors, to eggs – the list is inexhaustible. Essentially, the subject matter can be anything that does not move or is dead.
To remember the meaning of still life and that it is related to objects that do not move, use the following mnemonic:
Will you please sit still and remain lifeless (still life). I don't want you to move.
Still life paintings have been produced by artists throughout the ages, from Caravaggio's fruit basket...
Caravaggio, Basket of Fruit, c. 1595–1596
. . . to modern takes on the still life, like the hyper-realistic portraits of modern meals by Tjalf Sparnaay.
Tjalf Sparnaay, Broodje-Ham, Tjalf Sparnaay is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Still life is almost certain to be tried out in school classrooms all over the world. Let's hope you or your art teacher get creative and choose interesting or unusual still life subject matter to recreate.