Still Life with Jug by Willem Kalf, c.1655-57
Jug and Tomatoes by Nathan Altman, 1912
Still Life: Bottles and a Jug by Robert Falk, 1912. Falk’s still life is ordered and yet somewhat misshapen; notice the straight highlighted lines in the glass and mirrored reflections that contrast with the very slightly asymmetrical bottle shapes. I love the use of complimentary purple and yellow too.
Coppa Rossa con Melograni by Bruno Croatto, 1932. ‘Red Cup with Pomegranates’ is such a bright bold and intriguing still life by Italian painter Croatto, though to me it looks like a much older piece (which probably isn’t a good thing!) The main reason I posted this is to talk about the symbolism of pomegranates in art. They can represent a whole range of ideas, though the concepts I most frequently here about are in terms of soul resurrection, fertility and temptation.
1881 - 1955
Fernand Léger was a French artist who experimented with several styles including Cubism and Pop Art. Throughout his career, Léger became acquainted with many great artists of the time, including Robert Delauney, Henri Matisse, Henri Rousseau and the art critic Guillaume Apollinaire. The term ‘tubism’ was coined by another art critic Louis Vauxcelles to describe the accentuation of cylindrical forms in Léger’s work. The colour palette Léger used is also quite distinctive; bold, contrasting ares of black and white, combined with bright forms often in the primary colours.
Still Life with a Beer Mug 1921
This tubist style can be seen in both Still Life with a Beer Mug and The Railway Crossing. Notice the flatness of depth in the still life due to the length of the table legs; it feels as though the table is two dimensional! And the patterned background keeps everything on the same plane, so that we almost become squashed into the scene. The jumbled up scene of The Railway Crossing is a busy composition that shows movement and dynamism.
The Railway Crossing 1919
Still Life by Willem Kalf, 1660. You’ve got to love the Dutch Golden Age painters and their still lifes, though admittedly do begin to look very similar! It is, however, always interesting to look into the background and historical context of the objects depicted; the painters would often show patriotism by proudly painting things they exported across Europe, such as fruit, wine, bread and fish.
Basket of Peaches with Walnuts, Knife and Glass of Wine by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin, 1768. Chardin was a French Baroque artist, but the similarities between his style and the work of the Dutch Golden Age painters is undoubtedly linked. Compare this piece with Still Life with Stoneware Jug, Wine Glass, Herring and Bread by Pieter Claesz; even the knife invading the viewer’s space is replicated!
Still Life by Frans Snyders, [n.d]. Snyders was a painter during the Dutch Golden Age, a period in time where still lifes flourished. This is an example of a very elaborate composition involving both flora and fauna but Snyders has not depicted any sort of cutlery or utensil, which is quite unusual when compared with other similar works.
Still Life by Edward Wadsworth, c.1926. Wadsworth paints these shells and debris with almost menacing outlines and the effect is far more intriguing to me than the average still life. The spiky conch shell resembles an emaciated claw against the gloomy grey sky and the shadow of the cone-shaped shell seems to take on several forms in different directions.
PH 77 by Clyfford Still, 1936. I’m not usually a fan of Still’s work, but I find these elongated, accentuated figures to be quite fascinating; their huge hands of workmanship and angular torsos create impressive and almost sinister builds.
Natura Morta by Attilio Alfieri, 1942
Still Life with Flowers by Willem van Aelst, 1665. An unusual colour scheme for a nature based still life, I find this image almost a little haunting in its darkness, combined with spindly stalks and blood red petals. Van Aelst was a very popular Dutch Golden Age painter.