Galerie Michael Haas presents a comprehensive selec-tion of still lifes created between the 17th century and the present day
The subject of still life was first addressed by painters during Greek antiquity and the renaissance, however, it was only after 1600 that it attained the same status as history paintings, portraits, interiors and landscapes. It enjoyed great popularity amongst the nobility, the upper classes and even the lower classes. Of particular importance are the Dutch and Flemish baroque still lifes. The genre also experienced its high-point in Spain, Italy, France and Germany in the 17th century. The categories of still lifes that are still used today were first developed during this time: floral images, vanitas still lifes, still lifes with interiors, fruit, food, various utensils, books etc.
Thanks to an increasing secularity, everyday objects, curios and rare items from around the world, such as peculiar fruits or flowers, unusual glasses, plates or silver-ware were deemed worthy of depiction. From the outset, artists also used this genre to convey symbolic, redemptory, humanist or socially relevant content. Beauty, nature, transience, life and death are the key terms here. Our selection shows that concurrent to the change in zeitgeist and living conditions, the choice of objects which were depicted also continually changed. However, an examination of everyday bourgeois life enhanced by the extraordinary remains the genre’s theme to this day.
The exhibition consists of numerous paintings, two photo-graphs, a work on paper, as well as two sculptures, by artists such as Nicolas Henry Jeaurat de Bertry, Georges Braque, Giorgio de Chirico, George Condo, Lovis Corinth, Walter Dahn, James Ensor, Jean Fautrier, Leiko Ikemura, Alexej Jawlensky, Alexander Kanoldt, David Nicholson, Pablo Picasso, Odilon Redon, Théodule-Augustin Ribot, Kurt Schwitters, Félix Vallotton and Andy Warhol.