Monday, September 16, 2013

still life

A work of art depicting an arrangement of commonplace items is called a still life. The artist may have simply wanted to draw the particular objects, and put them together just so, or they might have symbolic significance. Maybe both. Other compositions are purely 'caught moments' captured on canvas or paper. View the world with an artist's eye and you'll notice such visual vignettes all around, probably a perfectly perfect one on your Monday morning kitchen counter: coffee cup, sugar bowl, tangerine. Be still, the picture says, this is life.
(Henri Matisse, Still Life with Seashell, 1940)

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