The first artist of the month in January is Henry Fantin-Latour. He was famous for his still lifes. But what is a still life?
Flowers and fruit, 1865
STILL LIFE VOCABULARY
A type of art whose subject is a group of natural objects (such as game, flowers, vegetables, or fruits) and man-made objects (such as containers) usually placed on a tabletop with a tablecloth.
subject—focus or theme
natural—not made by humans
game—dead birds and animals used for food
man-made—made by humans
containers—objects, such as baskets, bottles, and dishes, that hold something
tabletop—the top of a table
tablecloth—a cloth used to cover a tabletop
One theme often portrayed in still-life paintings is vanitas, which is concerned with the fragility of man and his world of desires and pleasures in the face of the inevitability and finality of death. It refers to the vanity of earthly possessions, to fleeting time, and to decay.