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Still Life Prints

In Western European art traditions, the still life was an important academic subject that apprentice artists were required to master. Drawing from still life scenes and translating them onto two-dimensional canvas was critical for artists to learn and master perspective.

Although never assigned the importance of history and battle scenes, or even portraiture, the lowly still life was a repository of cultural information. In the Dutch tradition, the still life took on the important role as the conduit for moral and religious message in the 17th century. Dedicated realist artists were interested in creating "trompe l'oeil," or hyper-real depictions of these compositions, and often they served as a "memento mori," or reminder of mortality for the viewer.

Dutch still life compositions often boldly included skulls or other symbolic reminders of the ephemeral nature of life. More subtle suggestions of the same idea may have included a rendering of a feast, half eaten, with no human presence.

At the turn of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso and George Braque worked through their early ideas of cubism by composing and rendering still scenes of fruit, instruments, and other objects.


Quick Facts

  • Still life images of food and other objects appear in Egyptian tombs. Though historical examples of still life typically involve food or flowers, contemporary exhibitions have begun to consider when other assembled objects broaden the definition
  • A contemporary example of the still life in printmaking is the work of the artist Tara Donovan. Using everyday materials such as plastic cups, she composes large-scale installations and creates monotype prints from the same materials
  • British artist David Hockney favors interior themes, and many of his prints are composed of still life scenes. His 1998 etching "Van Gogh Chair," a chair with smoking pipe, was reworked in several different color combinations

Recommended Items at Auction

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Aileen Brown, Australia (b.1946), Blue Vase of Bottle Brush, Screenprint, ed. 12/50
Oct 07, 6:00 PM ACDT
Aileen Brown, Australia (b.1946), Blue Vase of Bottle Brush, Screenprint, ed. 12/50
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD120- AUD140
AUD23014 Bids
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AFTER PABLO PICASSO "LE BOUQUET" LITHOGRAPH
Oct 09, 9:00 AM MST
AFTER PABLO PICASSO "LE BOUQUET" LITHOGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$557 Bids
Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup I Tomato F&S II.46
Oct 09, 12:00 PM EDT
Andy Warhol, Campbell's Soup I Tomato F&S II.46
by Auctions at Showplace
Est: $60,000- $80,000
$13,0005 Bids
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ED MELL "LA FLOR DE AMARILLA" SIGNED LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH
Nov 06, 9:00 AM MST
ED MELL "LA FLOR DE AMARILLA" SIGNED LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$2205 Bids
ANDREW SALGADO - Mom and Papa Flowers
Oct 16, 1:00 PM CST
ANDREW SALGADO - Mom and Papa Flowers
by Saskatchewan Network for Art Collecting
Est: $250- $350
$3204 Bids
ATTR LOUISE BOURGEOISE Les Fleurs Signed Litho.
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR LOUISE BOURGEOISE Les Fleurs Signed Litho.
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $200- $500
$14 Bids
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HAROLD ALTMAN "CHAIR" LITHOGRAPH
Oct 09, 9:00 AM MST
HAROLD ALTMAN "CHAIR" LITHOGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$303 Bids
JASPER JOHNS (1930-NOW) LIMITED EDITION SIGNED LITHOGRAPH TITLED ALE CANS - 14 IN x 16 IN
Oct 11, 3:00 PM EDT
JASPER JOHNS (1930-NOW) LIMITED EDITION SIGNED LITHOGRAPH TITLED ALE CANS - 14 IN x 16 IN
by The Rug Life Auctions
Est: $2,000- $2,500
$4002 Bids
ATTR RENE MAGRITTE Le Moyens DExistence Engraving
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
ATTR RENE MAGRITTE Le Moyens DExistence Engraving
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $200- $500
$22 Bids
Brent Rosenberg, (Australia XX-XXI), "Ivy”, Limited edition print, Sheet 61cm x 46cm, frame 64cm x 48cm
Oct 09, 7:00 PM AEDT
Brent Rosenberg, (Australia XX-XXI), "Ivy”, Limited edition print, Sheet 61cm x 46cm, frame 64cm x 48cm
by Bargain Hunt Auctions
Est: AUD0- AUD0
AUD302 Bids
A SET OF FOUR 18TH CENTURY ENGRAVINGS OF TROPICAL SHELLS
Oct 17, 2:00 PM AEDT
A SET OF FOUR 18TH CENTURY ENGRAVINGS OF TROPICAL SHELLS
by Leonard Joel
Est: AUD400- AUD600
AUD4002 Bids
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MARC CHAGALL "STILL LIFE WITH FLOWERS" OFFSET LITHOGRAPH
Oct 09, 9:00 AM MST
MARC CHAGALL "STILL LIFE WITH FLOWERS" OFFSET LITHOGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$302 Bids
Mucha - Pair of Folio Décor or Design Lithographs
Oct 08, 10:00 AM CDT
Mucha - Pair of Folio Décor or Design Lithographs
by Trillium Antique Prints & Rare Books
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1602 Bids
XL KOHUT Signed Fern Leaves Lithograph 2006
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
XL KOHUT Signed Fern Leaves Lithograph 2006
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $400
$11 Bid
XL KOHUT Signed Silhouetted Leaves Lithograph 2006
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
XL KOHUT Signed Silhouetted Leaves Lithograph 2006
by The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc.
Est: $100- $400
$11 Bid
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Linda Le Kniff Serigraph Can. "Fauteuil a Fleurs"
Nov 13, 12:00 PM EST
Linda Le Kniff Serigraph Can. "Fauteuil a Fleurs"
by Neely Auction
Est: $200- $400
$1001 Bid
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Romero Britto 3D Sculptograph "New Spring", 2008
Nov 13, 12:00 PM EST
Romero Britto 3D Sculptograph "New Spring", 2008
by Neely Auction
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid
Framed Serigraph of New York City and Pop Culture Portraits
Oct 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Framed Serigraph of New York City and Pop Culture Portraits
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $100- $300
$101 Bid
Lot of 5 Pieces of Art - Mixed Types
Oct 12, 11:00 AM EDT
Lot of 5 Pieces of Art - Mixed Types
by Bodnar's Auction Sales
Est: $25- $75
$101 Bid
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WILLIAM EVAUL (1949- ) Before the Concert, No. 2, 1984, White-line woodblock print
Oct 08, 1:00 PM EDT
WILLIAM EVAUL (1949- ) Before the Concert, No. 2, 1984, White-line woodblock print
by Bakker Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Still Life Prints


Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

TGP Auction

TGP Auction

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Kiefer Buch- und Kunstauktionen

Designer Homes of Central Florida

Designer Homes of Central Florida