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Still Life Drawings

Still life drawings are defined as works on paper featuring inanimate objects, typically executed in a drawing medium such as pastel, ink, or pencil. The subjects of still life drawings tend towards the quotidian, and can include both natural and man-made subjects. These include plants, dead animals, food, jewelry, vases, books, and clocks. Still life drawings draw attention to the innate aesthetic beauty of the objects that surround us in daily life, which is often taken for granted.

The tradition of still life drawing dates back to ancient Egyptian civilization. Food items and other objects were painted on the tombs of Pharaohs according to the belief that the items would be available to the deceased in their afterlife. Still life emerged as a major genre in Western art during the 17th century in the Dutch Golden age, when artists would paint incredibly intricate compositions. These works typically contained allegorical and religious significance.

Still life remained popular throughout the 20th century. Outstanding contemporary examples of still life drawings include the drawings of vases by Giorgio Morandi and the present day works by Jonas Wood.


Quick Facts

  • Jonas Wood's still life drawings feature age old iconography including plants and vases, but are rendered in an unmistakably modern way
  • French Impressionist artist Paul Cezanne created a prolific number of still life drawings throughout his career. He demonstrated a preoccupation with reinventing the tradition of still life by depicting commonplace fruit in a gestural style that was considered radical at the time
  • Roy Lichtenstein's "Still Life with Windmill," executed in color pencil and graphite, sold at Christie's in 2010 for more than $130,000

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Cathryn Kapp color pencil drawing
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Sellers Who Sell Still Life Drawings


De Vuyst

De Vuyst

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dane Fine Art Auctions

500 Gallery

500 Gallery

Capsule Gallery Auction

Capsule Gallery Auction