After beginning this blogpost with a reference to the previous one, I now continue it by saying, “Damen und Herren, Mesdames et Messieurs, Señoras y Señores, Ladies and Gentlemen and children of all ages,
No, friends, the subject of this blogpost is still lifes.
I know, I need to work on my segues.
According to the well-known but admittedly non-authoritative online encyclopedia Wikipedia, “A still life (plural still lifes) is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural (food, flowers, dead animals, plants, rocks, or shells) or man-made (drinking glasses, books, vases, jewelry, coins, pipes, and so on).”
There are an amazing number of paintings entitled “Still Life with...” and the subjects are many and varied. Some of the ones I found online are:
- Still Life with Pie, Silver Ewer, and Crab (Heda)
- Still Life with a Globe and a Parrot (Boel)
- Still Life with Two Dead Peacocks and a Girl (Rembrandt)
- Still Life with Fruit, Flowers, Glasses and Lobster (de Heem)
- Still Life with Bouquet and Fan (Renoir)
- Still Life with Apples, Grapes, Melons, Bread, Jug and Bottle (Meléndez)
- Still Life with Silverware (Manieri)
- Still Life with Apples, a Pear, and a Ceramic Portrait Jug (Gaugain)
- Still Life with Cherub (Cézanne)
- Still Life with a Beer Mug (Léger)
- Still Life with Sunflowers (Gaugain)
- Still Life with Geraniums (Matisse)
- Still Life with Chair Caning (Picasso)
- Still Life with Eggplants (Matisse)
- Still Life with Goldfish Bowl (Lichtenstein)
They go on and on and on.
Not to be outdone, here are three still life photographs I took in our home:
1. Still Life: Kitchen corner with Pencil Cactus (Euphorbia tirucalli), 1940s-era Wooden High Chair, Fruit Plaque, Ceramic Duck, and Grapes Painting by Renowned New Zealand Artist Kate Steeds:
2. Still Life: Cherry-Pineapple-Coconut-Pecan Dump Cake with Ice Cream and Aluminum (British: Aluminium) Foil:
3. Still Life: Coffee Mug with Methodist Hymnal on Blue Tablecloth:
The Methodist Hymnal above was given to me by Mrs. Joan M., who found it among her mother’s belongings after her mother died. It is quite small and contains lyrics only, no musical notes. The oldest item in my home, its title page shows a publication date of 1845:
In composing this post and sharing some of our still lifes with you, I felt my heart strangely warmed.
[Editor’s note. The last sentence is an allusion to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism. It’s okay if you didn’t get it. --RWP]