A painting of inanimate objects such as fruit or flowers.
In painting and graphic art, a depiction of inanimate objects.
A feature of painting since classical times, still life developed as an independent genre in the 17th century, flourishing first in Holland, where the Reformation had discouraged religious imagery and artists were seeking new subjects. Early examples often combine a sheer delight in the appearance of things with religious or moral symbolism. One of the first true still lifes is Caravaggio’s Basket of Fruit 1596 (Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, Milan). Other examples include Chardin’s Skate, Cat and Kitchen Utensils 1728 (Louvre, Paris) and Morandi’s Still Life 1946 (Tate Gallery, London).