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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

Recommended Items at Auction

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Joe Bollen, Australia (20th Century), Pole 5250 1993, Pastel
May 19, 11:00 AM AEST
Joe Bollen, Australia (20th Century), Pole 5250 1993, Pastel
by Theodore Bruce Auctioneers & Valuers
Est: AUD100- AUD200
AUD602 Bids
Jane Freilicher (American, 1924-2014) COSMOS & MALLOWS, 1965
May 20, 7:00 PM EDT
Jane Freilicher (American, 1924-2014) COSMOS & MALLOWS, 1965
by Kensington Estate Auctions
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$3252 Bids
SPALA VACLAV (Czech / Bohemian 1885-1946) - Birch tree
May 27, 8:00 PM CEST
SPALA VACLAV (Czech / Bohemian 1885-1946) - Birch tree
by Einszwei Gallery
Est: 0 Kč- 0 Kč
1,500 Kč1 Bid
Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901-1985) - Le Pot de Confiture I
May 21, 11:00 AM EDT
Jean Dubuffet (French, 1901-1985) - Le Pot de Confiture I
by Freeman's | Hindman
Est: $10,000- $15,000
$5,0001 Bid
NICOLAJ DIULGHEROFF, TRE SGABELLI SCOMPONIBILI
May 21, 5:00 PM CEST
NICOLAJ DIULGHEROFF, TRE SGABELLI SCOMPONIBILI
by Art-Rite
Est: €2,000- €4,000
€1,2001 Bid
Janice Anne Drevitson (American/Vermont, 20th c.)
May 30, 2:00 PM CDT
Janice Anne Drevitson (American/Vermont, 20th c.)
by Neal Auction Company
Est: $300- $500
$2001 Bid
August Will (1834 - 1910) Ink on Paper, Silver Interest
May 19, 12:00 PM EDT
August Will (1834 - 1910) Ink on Paper, Silver Interest
by Locati LLC
Est: $200- $300
$1001 Bid
Thijs Rinsema (Dutch 1877 - 1947). Composition with bottles, c. 1927.
Jun 10, 7:30 PM CEST
Thijs Rinsema (Dutch 1877 - 1947). Composition with bottles, c. 1927.
by Adams Amsterdam Auctions
Est: €2,000- €3,000
€1,5001 Bid
Darilyn Lowe (NY,20C) pastel painting
Jun 02, 11:45 AM EDT
Darilyn Lowe (NY,20C) pastel painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $300- $400
$100 Bids
TIMMERMANS, Felix (1886-1947)
May 25, 11:00 AM CEST
TIMMERMANS, Felix (1886-1947)
by Auctions Van de Wiele
Est: €360- €500
€3600 Bids
Philip V Arabia (NJ,20C) pastel painting
Jul 07, 11:45 AM EDT
Philip V Arabia (NJ,20C) pastel painting
by Broward Auction Gallery LLC
Est: $260- $320
$100 Bids
FRITZ BAMBERGER (1814 WÜRZBURG - 1873 NEUENHAIN/BAD SODEN)
May 25, 10:00 AM CEST
FRITZ BAMBERGER (1814 WÜRZBURG - 1873 NEUENHAIN/BAD SODEN)
by Hardt Auctions GmbH
Est: €250- €350
€2500 Bids
Jeff Stones (Modern)
May 23, 10:00 AM BST
Jeff Stones (Modern)
by Cheffins
Est: £100- £150
£800 Bids
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Fónyi Friml Géza (1899 - 1971): Still Life with Pears
May 30, 6:00 PM CEST
Fónyi Friml Géza (1899 - 1971): Still Life with Pears
by Bodo Gallery and Auction House
Est: Ft280,000- Ft380,000
Ft220,0000 Bids
SPANISH SCHOOL (19th century / 20th century) "Pantheon"
May 21, 5:00 PM CEST
SPANISH SCHOOL (19th century / 20th century) "Pantheon"
by Ansorena
Est: €270- €360
€1800 Bids
JOAQUÍN KRAMER ARNÁEZ Madrid (1842) / (1913) "From the capital of the Erechtheus", 1859
May 21, 5:00 PM CEST
JOAQUÍN KRAMER ARNÁEZ Madrid (1842) / (1913) "From the capital of the Erechtheus", 1859
by Ansorena
Est: €150- €200
€1000 Bids
Shirley Cleary "Abandoned Machine #10" Drawing
May 22, 10:00 AM CDT
Shirley Cleary "Abandoned Machine #10" Drawing
by Revere Auctions
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
§ Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987)
May 23, 10:00 AM BST
§ Eliot Hodgkin (1905-1987)
by Cheffins
Est: £100- £150
£800 Bids
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JOSEF HOFFMANN* (Pirnitz 1870 - 1956 Vienna)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
JOSEF HOFFMANN* (Pirnitz 1870 - 1956 Vienna)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
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JOSEF HOFFMANN* (Pirnitz 1870 - 1956 Vienna)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
JOSEF HOFFMANN* (Pirnitz 1870 - 1956 Vienna)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €300- €600
€3000 Bids
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EMILIE MEDIZ-PELIKAN (Voecklabruck 1861 - 1908 Dresden)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
EMILIE MEDIZ-PELIKAN (Voecklabruck 1861 - 1908 Dresden)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €800- €1,600
€8000 Bids
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ANTON HANAK (Brno 1875 - 1934 Vienna)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
ANTON HANAK (Brno 1875 - 1934 Vienna)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €400- €800
€4000 Bids
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BRONCIA KOLLER-PINELL (Sanok 1863 - 1934 Vienna)
May 28, 3:00 PM CEST
BRONCIA KOLLER-PINELL (Sanok 1863 - 1934 Vienna)
by Widder Auctions
Est: €200- €400
€2000 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Still Life Drawings


Widder Auctions

Widder Auctions

Ansorena

Ansorena

Il Ponte Auction House

Il Ponte Auction House

Bassenge Auctions

Bassenge Auctions