• Depictions of a still object (living, dead, or artificial) or a set of objects
Still lifes can be highly arranged sets of objects, casual arrangements, or haphazard groupings.
In trompe l'oeil still lifes, some sort of planar surface is convincingly painted facing the viewer, and objects are carefully rendered as if they are attached to or suspended from this surface.
Artists might choose to paint/draw a still life in order to spend time in appreciative contemplation of beautiful plants/flowers/objects. Sentimentality for old objects might motivate a still life. Objects might be gathered for ironic purposes, pop-culture reference, shock value, or for no reason at all. Finally, an artist might choose this genre as a vehicle for aesthetic expression, emphasizing abstraction, mark making, distortions, and/or palette exploration.
Featured above: Fruit Piece
by Jan van Huysum.