CDR-1140: SR Set: Still Life: History from Incidental Detail to Academic Exercise

Still life studies emerged from details in larger compositions: food and vessels scattered on a banquet table; tools laid out in a carpenter's shop, or product goods in a market. These 'proto' still lifes appear in Egyptian wall paintings and reliefs, in Roman reliefs and mosaics and even in the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. The practice of including these detailed studies continued into the Renaissance and was particularly significant as part of iconographic programs of northern painters. These early incidental or transitional examples of formed the foundation for the still life genre that would emerge in the 16th century. Classic Dutch paintings of luxury food items, silver, and glass piled high on a table have now morphed into an academic exercise practiced by painters of every persuasion in the 20th century.