Still life (formerly still life ) describes in the history of European art tradition the representation of dead or motionless objects (flowers, fruits, dead animals, glasses, instruments, etc.). Their selection and grouping was based on content (often symbolic) and aesthetic aspects. These representations developed into an independent genre of painting at the beginning of the 17th century in the Baroque era . A distinction is made between the objects shown; This results in the subspecies of flowers, books, fish, fruit, breakfast, hunting, kitchen, market, musical instruments, vanitas or still life in arms. The transitions to the picture genres interior , animal or genre are sometimes fluid.
Concept and concept history
When considering the still life and its development, a distinction must be made between a broader and a narrower generic term . All representations of object compositions and still life-like arrangements are considered to be still life in the broader sense - especially before the establishment of still life painting as a separate genre of painting in the 17th century. Still lifes in a broader sense have most likely existed at all times and in all cultures. These include the paintings on silk and porcelain from China and Japan as well as the decorative mosaics and wall frescoes of antiquity.
The term stil leven (Dutch: stil = motionless and leven = existence) for a painting can be found for the first time in a Dutch inventory around 1650 . Before and after that, the main objects in the picture determined the name of a painting (e.g. 1614 Een koocken en fruytbort, 1624 Een bancket schilderytgen, 1631 Een dootshooft, 1669 Een biertje met een toebackje, 1691 Een oesterbanketje met een roemer, etc. ). Arnold Houbraken took over the term stilleven for such paintings in his work on the art De groote schouburgh of the Nederlantsche konstschilders en schilderessen (1718–1721) at the beginning of the 18th century . In 1675, Joachim von Sandrart coined the term stationary things in the first major source work of German art historiography, the Teutschen Academie of the noble building, painting and painting arts . The word still life , based on the Dutch term, did not appear in the German language until the middle of the 18th century. A French term such as nature morte or vie coye was perhaps coined in the theoretical discussions of the French academy in the 17th century, but is also only documented for the middle (or end) of the 18th century - as is the English expression still life . In the early 19th century, the term still life was established as a name for the genre in the various translations (stilleven, nature morte, natura morta, still life, etc.).
The best-known anecdote about ancient still life painting is probably the one about the artist competition between Zeuxis and Parrhasios , which was passed down by Pliny . Accordingly, on the occasion of the competition, Zeuxis painted an ensemble of grapes so deceptively real that the birds pecked at them. Assured of his victory, Parrhasios should now reveal his haunted image. However, to the shame of Zeuxis, the curtain was also painted. Furthermore, Pliny reports about an ancient artist who reproduced food waste left lying around as a floor mosaic, the so-called. Unswept space , which numerous Roman floor mosaics adopted as a theme. The (initially Greek) Xenia are still life-like works of art from antiquity in the narrower sense . These are images of food based on the custom of gift giving. These images soon broke away from this context and were given a decorative and representative function. Such paintings and mosaics with depictions of food, flowers, crockery, set tables, silver utensils or writing implements - also in combination with living animals - in ancient villas illustrate the yield of the domain and thus the wealth of the landowner. Such xenias can be found in the reception or dining room according to their representative function. It is also known that in ancient times, in addition to depictions similar to still lifes on walls and floors, autonomous works of art depicting lifeless things were also collected. Even in antiquity, the skull was one of these lifeless things as a carpe diem request ( vanity idea ). The ancient depiction of lifeless things shows clear parallels in motifs, function and illusionistic design to the still lifes of later epochs.
Middle Ages and Renaissance
The pictorial representation of inanimate things is only found very sporadically in medieval art - at best still life books as part of images of saints . The reason for this is the general negation of the depiction of earthly reality. In medieval thought, this worldly life was only a transit point to actual, eternal life and therefore not worth depicting.
The view of the world (and art) changed dramatically in the Renaissance . Shortly before, in the Protenaissance , Italian artists - above all Giotto di Bondone - succeeded in modeling three-dimensional pictorial objects through shadows and the first spatial-perspective representations. These are the basic requirements for illusionistic painting. Following these new trends, the Giotto student Taddeo Gaddi created two false niches with representations of liturgical implements in the Baroncelli Chapel in the Church of Santa Croce in Florence 1328-1330. These arrangements may be viewed as the earliest known modern still lifes in the broader sense.
The application of perspective in art came to the Netherlands via southern France and Burgundy . Here, influenced by courtly miniature painting , artists such as the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck , Robert Campin and his student Rogier van der Weyden created realistic depictions of landscapes, interiors, plants, fabrics and everyday objects. Objects such as water basins, jugs, liturgical utensils , books, flower vases etc. appeared grouped as still life parts in the paintings. They were used, among others, to mark saints, martyrs and apostles. or the transport of a symbolic meaning. Examples are the Marian symbols lily , columbine and iris in the portraits of Mary together with washing devices as a symbol for the purity of Mary.
In a further development step, these objects were given their own image fields. Such elements can be found on the outside of private devotional pictures, especially in the Eyck succession shortly before and around 1500 . These, too, relate to the content of the panel painting and have a symbolic character. A prominent example is the Braque triptych by Rogier van der Weyden from around 1450. The three-wing panel painting shows Jesus Christ in the open position in the middle , flanked by his mother Mary and the youngest of the apostles, John . The outer wings each show John the Baptist and Mary Magdalene . When closed, the triptych shows a skull on the left and a cross placed in perspective on the right with a quote from the book Jesus Sirach . The skull is to be seen as a reference to transience ( memento mori ). There are also depictions of flower vases on the outside of the diptych .
The earliest independent still life in the broader sense is that of Jacopo de'Barbari : the painting Still life with partridge, iron gloves and crossbow bolts . It is not a mural, but a still life-like representation ( trompe-l'œil ) with a direct functional connection. The work, dated 1504 by the artist, was probably integrated into the wall paneling of a hunting lodge. Other comparable, deceptively real, painted still lifes show partially open cupboards with the device inside - as in the Studiolo di Gubbio from the last quarter of the 15th century, which was formerly in the Palazzo Ducale in Gubbio and is now being viewed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York can.
A large number of early still life paintings emerged in the course of the research and discovery urge of the 15th and 16th centuries. The exploration of the surrounding nature became the purpose of the representation of detailed nature studies. Such drawings and watercolors , like those used by Albrecht Dürer the Elder. J. produced, were collected and disseminated in elaborate works on botany and zoology , which increased considerably from the middle of the 15th century with the invention of the printing press . These florilegien (flower books) are the link between natural history illustration and still life. They served as a supply of types and, as a preliminary stage, paved the way for detailed paintings that would later have a permanent place in art as pieces of flowers or still lifes.
In addition to the collection of various nature studies in special compendia, there were isolated representations of inanimate objects in art and wonder chambers . They were the physical representation of the objects depicted. In general, the interest in nature and its detailed reproduction increased the occurrence of flowers and fruits in works of art - especially in Italian festoon and garland painting. Examples of this can be found in Andrea Mantegna , Carlo Crivelli , Leonardo da Vinci and Giovanni da Udine .
The market and kitchen items produced since the 16th century can be viewed as a direct preliminary stage of the autonomous still life - in particular the meal still life . Pieter Aertsen and his nephew Joachim Beuckelaer made works of art for secular buildings (town halls and private palaces). They are philosophical interpretations of the visible world, sometimes still with scenes from the history of salvation in the background - often a moral reference such as that to good household and life management through the scene of Christ in the house of Mary and Martha . The paintings in the Aertsen workshop reflect the contemporary ambivalence between the joy of wealth and prosperity. A corresponding example is Aertsen's painting from 1552 in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna . In the foreground it shows a still life consisting of several objects - including a particularly large piece of meat and the moralizing scene of Christ with Mary and Martha in the background.
First autonomous still life around 1600
There is no exact date of origin for the year - also no clear country of origin. Too many still lifes have been lost, have no definite date or signature, or may not have been consciously created as an autonomous work. What is certain is that still life began to form in Europe at the end of the 16th and beginning of the 17th century as an independent genre - just like "pure" landscape painting . Paintings in which the depiction of inanimate objects exclusively determines the subject matter first appeared in the Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy around 1600. Art history has the earliest vanitas and meal still lifes from the Netherlands and the earliest known fruit still lifes from Italy.
The emancipation of the still life as an autonomous genre is a juxtaposition of various historical and art-historical developments and achievements - not just a story of the independence of individual motifs from the painting of the 15th and 16th centuries. Above all, Sybille Ebert-Schifferer sees the replacement of the human figure by an object as the carrier of a content-related message as a prerequisite for the autonomous still life. So around 1600 was the ideal time for two essential factors to come together. On the one hand, the artists had the technical and cognitive abilities to reproduce lifelike, and on the other hand, the recipients had the ability for intellectual combinations and a willingness to deal with painting as an artistic phenomenon. In addition, the guilds were dissolved , creating an art market that made these specializations possible.
Giovanni Ambrogio Figino
Plate with Peaches , 1591–1594, oil on panel, 21 × 30 cm, private collection
The heyday in the 17th and 18th centuries
Netherlands and Germany
During the Baroque period (around 1600–1770), still life in Europe - particularly in Holland and Flanders - experienced its richest expression. Numerous subspecies of still life painting emerged in the various cities. In the university city of Leiden , artists such as David Bailly and the brothers Harmen Steenwijck and Pieter Steenwijck painted the book and vanitas still life . In Antwerp and Haarlem , the meal still life was created by artists such as Clara Peeters , Osias Beert , Floris van Dyck , Pieter Claesz and Willem Claesz. Heda cared for. The Hague was known for the still life of fish through artists such as Abraham van Beijeren . Utrecht was a center of still life with flowers and fruits. One of the main representatives of this type of still life was Jan Davidsz. de Heem . The forest still life is a special form of the flower still life and became known through the paintings of Otto Marseus van Schrieck . In Amsterdam, artists such as Jan Jansz dedicated themselves. Treck and Jan Jansz. van de Velde prefers the smoking still life . In German-speaking countries, painters such as Georg Flegel , Isaak Soreau and Peter Binoit created still lifes under the strong influence of the Dutch.
The painter's concern was, on the one hand, to capture and reproduce objects from nature and everyday life in their beauty and, on the other hand, to convey an encrypted message, a conceptual content. The coding of certain (moral) messages by symbols faded around the middle of the 17th century and was subordinated to a primarily decorative and representative end in itself. These paintings from the late 17th and 18th centuries, also known as splendid still lifes, represent the end of the development of the baroque still life. The magnificent still life was inspired by the art of Frans Snyders in Amsterdam by artists such as Abraham van Beijeren and Jan Davidsz. de Heem and Willem Kalf painted. During its heyday in the 17th century, the still life had its mimetic climax with the perfect illusion of perception, culminating in the trompe-l'œil .
With the artistic production and the respect that was shown for the work of art, the self-image of the artist also increased. In the course of this development, some still life painters were highly paid court painters, while others always had to fight for their place on the free art market. For many artists in the Netherlands in the 17th century, the artistic trade was not enough to secure a livelihood, so they had to pursue another profession. The paintings, if they were not made for a special client, were sold through dealers, fairs, bookshops and directly from the studio.
In the 18th century there was a loss of quality in the genre. An exception was the French painter Jean Siméon Chardin , who lived from 1699 to 1779. He was a painter of the Enlightenment , who met Jean-Jacques Rousseau's demand retour à la nature ("back to nature"), in which the turning away from the illusory and superficiality of the courtly way of life towards a simple naturalness became clear. Chardin opened our eyes to a life beyond aristocratic light-heartedness and frivolous gimmicks. In the place of the magnificent baroque still life with its symbolic meaning, Chardin put the bourgeois everyday utensils. The Impressionists regarded the colourfulness of his strictly structured works and his dissolved application of paint as exemplary.
19th and 20th centuries
Still life became very fashionable again in the 19th century, especially in France with Jean-Baptiste Robie (1821–1910), Antoine Vollon and Philippe Rousseau . In Germany it was Johann Wilhelm Preyer , his daughter Emilie and Jakob Lehnen (members of the Düsseldorf School of Painting ), the Berliners Charles Hoguet , Paul Meyerheim , Hertel, Theude and René Greenland , Friedrich Heimerdinger (Hamburg). The women involved were the painters Luise Begas-Parmentier , Hermione von Preuschen , Margarethe Hormuth-Kallmorgen and Elise Hedinger (1854–1923).
In the late 19th and 20th centuries, u. a. Paul Cézanne , Georges Braque , Juan Gris , Max Beckmann , Paula Modersohn-Becker , Giorgio Morandi , Georgia O'Keeffe , Horst Janssen , Berthe Art and Eberhard Schlotter took up this genre.
Main representative of still life painting
The main representatives of Dutch still life painting are: Jan Brueghel the Elder , Osias Beert , Clara Peeters , Floris van Dyck , Nicolaes Gillis , David Bailly , Frans Snyders , Jan Davidsz. de Heem , Abraham van Beyeren , Willem Kalf , Pieter Claesz , Willem Claesz Heda , Willem van Aelst , Balthasar van der Ast , Jan Fyt , Rachel Ruysch , Jan van Huysum .
Sebastian Stoskopff (1597–1657) should also be mentioned for the French still life painting of this period . The reduction to a few objects such as cups, goblets and glasses is characteristic of his work. In Frankfurt / Hanau there was a still life scene that was founded by Dutch emigrants like Lucas van Valckenborch . In addition to Stoskopff, it included painters such as his teacher Daniel Soreau , his sons and students Isaak and Peter , Peter Binoit , Franz Godin and Georg Flegel . In contrast to still life painting in Holland and Flanders, both the Soreau family and, for the most part, Binoit remained true to their motifs and did not switch to "baroque" motifs.
Photographic still life
Photographic still lifes are usually referred to by their English name "still-life photography". This is understood to be the inclusion of objects. In addition to the artistic still-life recordings, there is a separate group of purely technical material or product recordings, as is often found in so-called "applied photography" (e.g. advertising). Photographic still lifes were u. a. Created by John Blakemore , Imogen Cunningham , Robert Mapplethorpe , Tina Modotti and David LaChapelle .
- See also tabletop photography
- Masterpieces of Still Life , Small Digital Library Volume 27, CD-ROM, Directmedia Publishing , Berlin 2007, Digital Library , ISBN 978-3-89853-327-0 .
- Hermain Bazin, Horst Gerson, Rolf Linnenkamp u. a .: Kinderl's painting lexicon . Volume 11, Kindler, Zurich 1985, pp. 282-286.
- General artist lexicon (AKL). The visual artists of all times and peoples. KG Saur, Munich / Leipzig 1991ff., ISBN 3-598-22740-X .
- Walther Bernt: The Dutch painters of the 17th century. 800 artists with 1470 illus. 3 vol. Münchner Verlag, Munich 19XX.
- Erika Gemar-Költzsch: Dutch still life painter in the 17th century. Luca-Verlag, Lingen 1995, ISBN 3-923641-41-9 .
- Fred G. Meijer, Adriaan van der Willigen: A dictionary of Dutch and Flemish still-life painters working in oils. 1525-1725. Primavera Press, Leiden 2003, ISBN 90-74310-85-0 .
- Wolf Stadler u. a .: Lexicon of Art. Painting, architecture, sculpture. Volume 11, Karl Müller Verlag, Erlangen 1994, pp. 167-176.
- Gerhard Strauss, Harald Olbrich: Lexicon of Art. Architecture, fine arts, applied arts, industrial design, art theory. Volume 7, Seemann, Leipzig 1994, pp. 64-67.
- Ulrich Thieme, Felix Becker (Hrsg.): General Lexicon of Fine Artists from Antiquity to the Present . Leipzig 1907 to 1950.
- Hans Vollmer: General Lexicon of Fine Artists of the XX. Century added . Leipzig 1953 to 1962
Monographs and exhibition catalogs
- Ingvar Bergström: Dutch still-life painting in the seventeenth century . Translated from the Swedish by Christina Hedström and Gerald Taylor. Faber & Faber, London 1956.
- Uta Bernsmeier (Ed.): Still life in Europe. Westphalian State Museum for Art and Art History, Münster, 25.11.1979–24.2.1980. State Art Gallery Baden-Baden, March 15 – June 15, 1980 (exhibition catalog). Munster 1979.
- Laurens Bol: Dutch painters of the 17th century, close to the great masters: landscapes and still lifes . Klinkhardt & Biermann, Braunschweig 1969.
- Pamela Hibbs Decoteau: Clara Peeters: 1594 - ca.1640, and the development of still-life painting in northern Europe. Luca-Verlag, Lingen 1992, ISBN 3-923641-38-9 .
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer : The history of the still life. Hirmer Verlag, Munich 1998, ISBN 3-7774-7890-3 .
- Claus Grimm : Still life. The Italian, Spanish and French masters . Belser, Stuttgart 1995, ISBN 3-7630-2303-8 ; New edition 2001, 2010, ISBN 978-3-7630-2562-6 .
- Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German masters . Belser, Stuttgart / Zurich 1988, ISBN 3-7630-1945-6 ; New edition 2001, 2010, ISBN 978-3-7630-2562-6 .
- Samuel van Hoogstraten: Inleydingh tot de Hooge Schoole of Schilderkonst. De zichtbaere world. Decorated in negen empty angles. Davaco Publ., Utrecht 1969 (reprint of the Rotterdam 1678 edition).
- Gerhard Langemeyer , Hans-Albert Peeters (Ed.): Still life in Europe. (Aust.kat .: Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History Münster & State Art Hall Baden-Baden 1980). Regional Association of Westphalia-Lippe, Münster 1979.
- Roswitha Neu-Kock (Red.): Still life - Natura Morta. In the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and in the Museum Ludwig. (Aust.cat .: Wallraf-Richartz-Museum and Museum Ludwig Cologne 1980). Museums of the City of Cologne, Cologne 1980.
- Michael North: History of the Netherlands. Beck, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-406-41878-3 .
- Franz-Xaver Schlegel: The life of dead things - studies of modern object photography in the USA 1914-1935 . 2 volumes, Stuttgart: Art in Life 1999, ISBN 3-00-004407-8 .
- Norbert Schneider: Still life. Reality and symbolism of things; the still life painting of the early modern period. Taschen, Cologne 1989, ISBN 3-8228-0398-7 .
- Sam Segal, William B. Jordan: A prosperous past. The sumptuous still life in the Netherlands. 1600-1700. (Aust.cat .: Delft & Cambridge & Massachusetts & Texas). SDU Publ., The Hague 1989, ISBN 90-12-06238-1 .
- Martina Sitt, Hubertus Gaßner (ed.): Mirror of secret wishes. Still life from five centuries . Hirmer Verlag Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-7774-4195-5 .
- APA Vorenkamp: Bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van het Hollandsch stilleven in de 17 eeuw: proefschrift the Verkrijging van den graad van doctor in de letteren en wijsbegeerte aan de Rijks-Universiteit te Leiden. NV Leidsche Uitgeversmaatschappij, Leiden 1933.
Essays and Articles
- Claus Grimm: Kitchen pieces - Market pictures - Fish still life. In: Gerhard Langemeyer, Hans-Albert Peeters (Hrsg.): Still life in Europe. (Aust.kat .: Westphalian State Museum for Art and Cultural History Münster & State Art Hall Baden-Baden 1980). Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe, Münster 1979, pp. 351–378.
- Eddy de Jongh: De interpretatie van stillevens: boundaries en mogelijkheden. In: Eddy de Jongh: Kwesties van betekenis. Subject en motief in de Nederlandse schilderkunst van de zeventiende eeuw. Primavera Pers, Leiden 1995, ISBN 90-74310-14-1 , pp. 130-148.
- Wouter Th. Kloek: The migration from the South to the North. In: Ger Lujten (Ed.): Dawn of the Golden Age. Northern Netherlandish art 1580-1620. (Aust.cat .: Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam 1993/94). Waanders, Zwolle 1993.
- Search for still lifes in the German Digital Library
- Search for still lifes in the SPK digital portal of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation
- Painted Light - The Still Lives of Willem Kalf (1619–1693) Exhibition in the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum Aachen, March 8th - June 3rd, 2007
- Still life - nature morte
- Ruhr-Uni-Bochum Sense and Sensuality-Flemish Still Life
- The spelling Still life up to the end of the 20th century should be taken into account when doing library and internet research on the topic.
- Hermain Bazin, Horst Gerson, Rolf Linnenkamp u. a .: Kinderl's painting lexicon. Volume 11, 1985, p. 282.
- Wolf Stadler u. a .: Lexicon of Art. Volume 11, 1994, pp. 167-176.
- Gerhard Strauss, Harald Olbrich: Lexicon of Art. Volume 7, 1994, pp. 64-67.
- Wolf Stadler u. a .: Lexicon of Art. Volume 11, 1994, p. 167.
The establishment of an autonomous genre must be understood on the one hand as a dynamic process, on the other hand, at the end there is a hierarchical allocation of space to the last position within the genre of painting through the doctrine of art theory of the 17th century.
See: Norbert Schneider: Stilleben. 1989, p. 7.
- APA Vorenkamp: bijdrage tot de geschiedenis van het Hollandsch stilleven in de 17 eeuw. 1933, p. 6 f.
- Gerhard Strauss, Harald Olbrich: Lexicon of Art. Volume 7, 1994, p. 64.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 16f.
- Gerhard Strauss, Harald Olbrich: Lexikon der Kunst. Volume 7, 1994, p. 65.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 18 f.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 22.
“Some character traits that will determine still lifes in post-antique times, changing according to epoch and region, were already pronounced in antiquity. In addition to the technical illusionism, these are the emblematic shortened reference to complex contents, the permanent retention of what is transient in nature, the use as decoration and as a status symbol and finally the idea of vanitas. ”
Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of still life. 1998, p. 23.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 25.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 25.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 26 f.
- Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German Masters 1988, p. 22 f .; Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The history of the still life. 1998, p. 29 ff.
- Wolf Stadler et al. a .: Lexicon of Art. Volume 11, 1994, p. 168.
“By the third quarter of the 15th century at the latest, pictorial works were created in the north and south which are optically still lifes; However, they always fulfilled a practical function - regardless of the degree to which they were also carriers of symbolic statements - and were physically tied to a specific location - mostly a wall. "
Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of still life. 1998, p. 34 ff.
- Claus Grimm: Still life. The Italian, Spanish and French masters. 1995, p. 26 f.
- Wolf Stadler et al. a .: Lexicon of Art. Volume 11, 1994, p. 168.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 53ff & Claus Grimm: Stilleben. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 26 f.
- Cf. also Gisela Luther: Still life as images of the passion for collecting. In: Uta Bernsmeier (Ed.): Stilleben in Europa. Westphalian State Museum for Art and Art History, Münster, 25.11.1979–24.2.1980. State Art Gallery Baden-Baden, March 15 – June 15, 1980 (exhibition catalog). Münster 1979, pp. 88-128.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 36.
- Claus Grimm: kitchen pieces - market pictures - fish still life. In: Gerhard Langemeyer, Hans-Albert Peeters (Hrsg.): Still life in Europe. 1979, pp. 351-378; Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 28.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 43.
“The developments in the academic specialty we are familiar with, such as 'landscape' and 'still life', did not take place in a single line and with a clear focus. Looking back over the years, we see the earliest and most prominent image solutions as milestones in a development. This assessment is based on similarities to the later types of images, without being sure whether the innovative forces and effects of change of that time actually pushed in the direction of what was achieved later. Some of what looks like an anticipation or a programmatic form was possibly just an incomplete execution due to circumstances. "
Claus Grimm: Stilleben. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 73.
- Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 73.
“The common denominator for this emancipation of the still life, which is taking place with different topic preferences, is likely to be the coincidence of several developments that matured at the end of the 16th century [...]. The almost simultaneous appearance of still lifes in different places is not a coincidence. At the same time, traces of mutual artistic influence can only be shown very fragmentarily so far. The surviving holdings show that the earliest depictions of vanitas and meals come from the Netherlands, while Italian artists preceded them in the field of fruit painting. The question of which country >> invented << still life cannot be answered. ”
Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The history of the still life. 1998, p. 75.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, p. 91.
- Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 74.
- Gerhard Strauss, Harald Olbrich: Lexicon of Art. Volume 7, 1994, p. 66.
- Sybille Ebert-Schifferer: The story of the still life. 1998, pp. 97f.
A general statement about hidden clues in still lifes is not possible, as this depends on individual factors such as the time of creation, the education or religiosity of the artist and the recipient as well as the corresponding objects and symbols used. Everything is possible from a serious moral teaching to a global reference to any content or ideas to no reference to any further meaning.
“Het zou real ook kunnen zijn dat sommige kunstenaars, in plaats van een precieze betekenis aan te geven, inderdaad no global associaties bij hun publicity sake wekken. Zelfs valt aan te nemen dat in bepaalde werken de inhoudelijke component minimaal is of misschien wel geheel ontbreekt. "
Eddy de Jongh: De interpretatie van stillevens: limit en mogelijkheden 1995, p. 132.
On" hidden symbolism "in still life painting see u. a. the eponymous chapter in: Norbert Schneider: Stilleben. 1989, p. 17f. An overview of the possible meanings of individual symbols can be found here: Vanitas symbols .
"Only after the fading of clear and different associations through devices and natural objects, with the simultaneous tendency to understand transience only in the sense of the endangerment of material values (such as the sumptuous dishes made with high artistic and technical effort and made of precious material), and Only with the parallel, only conventional derivation of meaning was it possible to designate the painted objects as 'things standing still' as 'nature morte', as 'still life'. These terms only emerged in the second half of the 17th century and finally became generally accepted. ”
Claus Grimm: Kitchen pieces - market pictures - fish still life. In: Gerhard Langemeyer, Hans-Albert Peters (Hrsg.): Still life in Europe. 1979, p. 372.
"The true masters of the pronk still life are Jan Davidsz. de Heem, Abraham van Beyeren and Willem Kalf. “
Sam Segal / William B. Jordan: A prosperous past 1989, p. 17.
“Many of the still life painters of the 17th century were - like the landscape and Mary painters - part-time painters who either mainly lived from other professions or temporarily postponed their painting activities. Ambrosius Bosschaert the Elder was an art dealer, like Rembrandt and Vermeer. The same applies to the Flemish Picart and the Frankfurt painter Marrel, who at times also speculated with tulip twins. Johannes Hannot was a painter and wine merchant; Osias Beert was a cork dealer; Cornelius Kick was a painter and shop owner. Willem Kalf is attested as a picture dealer and appraiser, while Daniel Soreau was probably a full-time businessman. "
Claus Grimm: Still life. The Dutch and German masters. 1988, p. 75.
- Gerhard Bott: The still life painter Daniel Soreau and his school in: Kurt Wettengl: Georg Flegel (1566–1638), Stilleben: [Publication for the exhibition "Georg Flegel (1566–1638), Stilleben" of the Historisches Museum Frankfurt am Main in cooperation with the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt from December 18 to February 13, 1994] . Hatje, Stuttgart 1993, ISBN 3-7757-0472-8 .