Art Movements

Exploring Still Life Paintings with fruit

Thursday: Exploring Different Types of Art

Still Life Paintings….why fruit?

Pieces of fruit is often included in still life paintings. Fruit was easy for artists to obtain and allowed for interesting color variations because of the imperfections of nature. Lots of different colors, shapes, and sizes.

Cezanne Rideau, Cruchon et Compotier by Paul Cezanne in 1893
Still Life with Flowers and Fruit by Henri Fantin-Latour in 1866
Still Life with Coffee Pot by Fernando Botero in 1977
Apples on a Red Cloth by Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin in 1917.

Still life paintings are one of the principal genres or subject types of Western Art.

Still life’s can include natural items such as fish, vegetables, game, wine, cut flowers, and fruit or man-made objects such as furniture, books, bottles, crockery or vases. Still life’s include anything that doesn’t move or is dead. Still life is defined as a collection of inanimate objects arranged together in a specific way.

Some artists use still life’s to celebrate material pleasures or goods. Many pieces may symbolically make reference to mortality (cut flowers, decaying fruit) while others talk about how short life is and may include hourglasses, skulls, candles, or clocks.

Still life’s can be abstract or realistic.

Still life’s was established by the French Academy in the seventeenth century.


As the four paintings above showcase the importance of composition and creating a story by showcasing multiple pieces of fruit. This creates dimension and visual interest while allowing the artist to use different techniques to create shadows and highlights.

Some artists create a background and set a scene by including additional pieces such as in Botero’s work which includes a piece of furniture at the bottom of the painting and a fork and knife as well as the coffee pot mentioned in the title. While Vodkin’s apples sit simply on a piece of red cloth which allows the viewer to focus purely on the apples.


Sources:

MET museum

Botero

Petrov

Cezanne

Art Term Still Life

Still Life Paintings and Drawings

Definition of still life

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