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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SAN FRANCISCO 49ER'S "LEGENDS" AUTOGRAPHED LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH
Oct 24, 10:00 AM MST
SAN FRANCISCO 49ER'S "LEGENDS" AUTOGRAPHED LIMITED EDITION LITHOGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$477 Bids
Margaret Rose Preston (1875-1963) Flowers in jug circa 1929
Nov 14, 2:30 PM AEDT
Margaret Rose Preston (1875-1963) Flowers in jug circa 1929
by Artvisory
Est: AUD6,000- AUD9,000
AUD9,0004 Bids
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STEVE KAUFMAN "MONA-LISA" HAND EMBELLISHMENT SCREENPRINT ON CANVAS SIGNED
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
STEVE KAUFMAN "MONA-LISA" HAND EMBELLISHMENT SCREENPRINT ON CANVAS SIGNED
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$854 Bids
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LEROY NIEMAN "LADY LIBERTY" SERIGRAPH
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MST
LEROY NIEMAN "LADY LIBERTY" SERIGRAPH
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$654 Bids
Three assorted prints in sealed packaging: hydrangeas 70 x 50 cm & girl 50 x 30 cm
Oct 23, 10:00 AM AEDT
Three assorted prints in sealed packaging: hydrangeas 70 x 50 cm & girl 50 x 30 cm
by Theodore Bruce
Est: AUD30- AUD50
AUD253 Bids
Print, Joseph Goldyne
Oct 17, 9:30 AM PDT
Print, Joseph Goldyne
by Clars Auction Gallery
Est: $300- $500
$1752 Bids
Peter Max 1981 Pencil Signed Spring Flower Lithograph with Certificate of Authenticity
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Peter Max 1981 Pencil Signed Spring Flower Lithograph with Certificate of Authenticity
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $350- $700
$102 Bids
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SALVADOR DALI PRINTS
Oct 17, 12:00 PM EDT
SALVADOR DALI PRINTS
by Aether Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$32 Bids
SALVADOR DALI (1904-1989) PENCIL SIGNED COLOR LITHO
Oct 22, 1:00 PM CDT
SALVADOR DALI (1904-1989) PENCIL SIGNED COLOR LITHO
by Dirk Soulis Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$5502 Bids
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John Harold Thomas Snow (1911-2004) Flowers in Bowl
Oct 18, 6:00 PM CDT
John Harold Thomas Snow (1911-2004) Flowers in Bowl
by Region Fine Art
Est: $100- $300
$501 Bid
WARHOL ANDY
Oct 26, 3:00 PM CEST
WARHOL ANDY
by Aste Boetto SRL
Est: €20,000- €22,000
€20,0001 Bid
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After Joan Miró LE MOULIN À CAFÉ Color etching and aquatint
Oct 19, 11:00 AM EDT
After Joan Miró LE MOULIN À CAFÉ Color etching and aquatint
by Doyle New York
Est: $1,500- $2,000
$7501 Bid
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KARL KNATHS (1891-1971) Piano Christmas Card, Hand colored Lithograph
Oct 23, 1:00 PM EDT
KARL KNATHS (1891-1971) Piano Christmas Card, Hand colored Lithograph
by Bakker Auctions
Est: $600- $800
$3001 Bid
DE CHIRICO GIORGIO (1888 - 1978) Ma jeunesse antique.
Oct 26, 11:00 AM CEST
DE CHIRICO GIORGIO (1888 - 1978) Ma jeunesse antique.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €800- €1,200
€501 Bid
Joe David, 11 x 10 in. (27.9 x 25.4 cm) (unframed)
Oct 27, 9:00 AM PDT
Joe David, 11 x 10 in. (27.9 x 25.4 cm) (unframed)
by Maynards Fine Art & Antiques
Est: $90- $120
$601 Bid
Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) d'après Le Homard. Aquatinte en couleurs sur vergé par Roger Lacourière.
Oct 28, 2:00 PM CEST
Pablo PICASSO (1881-1973) d'après Le Homard. Aquatinte en couleurs sur vergé par Roger Lacourière.
by Maison de Ventes Good
Est: €3,000- €5,000
€2,4001 Bid
SCHIFANO MARIO (1934 - 1998) Schema di Kit bici da corsa.
Oct 26, 11:00 AM CEST
SCHIFANO MARIO (1934 - 1998) Schema di Kit bici da corsa.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €100- €200
€501 Bid
SCHIFANO MARIO (1934 - 1998) Natura.
Oct 26, 11:00 AM CEST
SCHIFANO MARIO (1934 - 1998) Natura.
by Capitolium Art
Est: €100- €200
€501 Bid
Eric Prentice Anchor Thake,Australian (1904-1982), Nuns on the Geelong road
Nov 14, 2:30 PM AEDT
Eric Prentice Anchor Thake,Australian (1904-1982), Nuns on the Geelong road
by Artvisory
Est: AUD1,000- AUD1,500
AUD8001 Bid
Antique Japanese Signed Bonobo Screen
Oct 23, 12:00 PM EDT
Antique Japanese Signed Bonobo Screen
by Hess Fine Art
Est: $400- $900
$101 Bid
Steve Kaufman (American, 1960-2010) Oil and Silkscreen on Canvas
Oct 17, 10:00 AM CDT
Steve Kaufman (American, 1960-2010) Oil and Silkscreen on Canvas
by Leonard Auction
Est: $400- $600
$2001 Bid

Sellers Who Sell Still Life Prints


Dane Fine Art Auctions

Dane Fine Art Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

Robinhood Auctions

KCM Galleries

KCM Galleries

Art Atelier

Art Atelier