Still Life Paintings

Browse our carefully selected collection of Still Life paintings available for sale. StateoftheART specialises in exceptional art by emerging and established artists from across South Africa.

What Does “Still Life” Mean?
The Still Life definition comes from the Dutch word Still leven. In French, it is nature morte and in Italian, it is natura morta – both terms mean “dead nature”. This directly points to what a Still Life inherently is, which is an arrangement of inanimate objects, and often that of dead nature, like dead animals, foodstuffs that allude to time passing and thus rotting, as well as something that stands still, which can otherwise be considered “dead”.

What Are the Types of Still Lifes?
There are different categories of Still Life paintings, which are referred to as types. These types are also called “pieces” and are, namely, flowers and floral types, banquet or breakfast types, animal types, and symbolic types (known as Vanitas).
What Are Vanitas Paintings?
The Latin term Vanitas means “vanity”, which is a concept explored in these types of Still Life paintings.They symbolize the shortness of life through the depiction of skulls, clocks, and even half-peeled fruit, indicating decay and the element of rotting and dead animals (sometimes juxtaposed with live animals). The term also derives from the Bible’s Ecclesiastes verse, which states: “Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity”.

What Is the Plural Word for Still Life?
The word “Still Life” refers to a work of art. Although it uses the word “life” in it, it does not refer to a living entity such as a person. Because of this distinction, the noun “life” receives an “s” at the end and does not become what we would commonly call it in the plural form, “lives”.

Discover contemporary Still Life paintings by accomplished artists including Jeannie Kinsler, Heidi ShedlockGrace KotzeCorné Eksteen and Tiffany Onderstall at StateoftheART.