Still-life is an art genre that spans thousands of years, from Ancient Egypte still-life frescoes carver and painted by anonymous artists to sixteenth-century Dutch artists who made still-life painting a legitimate art form and the nineteenth-century French painters that started the Impressionist movement.

Regardless of whether you are interested in evolving into a full-time art teacher, have a particular passion for studying art and art history, or simply intend to pick art up as a hobby, you could certainly get some great value from availing of a professional tutor.

It is important to remember that art is in fact subjective at the end of the day. Don’t be too concerned if your work isn’t appreciated by others and avoid seeking validation for the pieces that you create.

Art can be an avenue for self-expression that can help you to convey your emotions onto a blank canvas. Many actually find art to be quite therapeutic as well as an enjoyable pastime to pass the hours.

Even if you have no real interest in developing your skills and knowledge of the subject, by practising art on a regular basis you would inherently be training your brain to think more creatively. This is something that can help you in all walks of life and an invaluable product of improving your competencies.

It must be said however that some artists are in fact gifted and deserve credit for their work and what they have contributed not just to the art community, but society as a whole.

Still-life continued to be a popular art form and was revived in the 1950's by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and later on by artists such as Judy Chicago and Keith Haring.

We have selected some of the most famous and influential pieces of still-life art from the early 17th century to the 1950's.

Still life painting by Caravaggio
Basket of Fruit, painted around 1599, is a still life painting by the Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571–1610), which hangs in the Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan.
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"Basket of Fruit" by Caravaggio

Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio was an Italian painter born in Milan at the end of the sixteenth century. He is famous for painting some of the most critically appraised religious paintings of his time or since. His style relied heavily on the use of the chiaroscuro technique, using very dark backgrounds and very clear and luminous shafts of light to illuminate the characters on his paintings.

His style which later became known as tenebrism had a significant influence on the following generation of artists and this stylistic element can be seen in the work of Dutch artist Rembrandt, even though Rembrandt never travel to Italy to study Italian master painters.

The Basket of Fruits was painted around 1599 and stands out in Caravaggio's work as one of only two still-life paintings.

One of the tricks that Caravaggio often used during his career was trompe l'oeil. In this painting, the quasi-photographic realism it displays tricks our eyes and brain into thinking that the fruits are almost popping out of the canvas.

With Still Life with Fruit on a Stone Ledge, Caravaggio started the Roman still-life movement even though it would take some time for the movement to really kick off.

The Water Lily Pond by Claude Monet.
Bassin Aux Nymphéas (Water Lily Pond; 1919) is one of the series of Water Lilies paintings by French impressionist artist Claude Monet. It is an oil on canvas painting measuring 100x300 cm. It was sold in 2008 for £40.9 million, a record for any of Monet's painting.

"Water Lilies" Series by Claude Monet

Claude Monet was one of the founders of the Impressionism movement that started in Paris in the 1860's. The name of the movement itself came from of one of Monet's paintings Impression, Sunrise, a title that was first used to mock the growing movement.

Throughout his career, Monet remained the main leader of the Impressionist movement and has been its most prolific artist. One of the ways Monet achieved the intended play on natural light was by painting the same scene again and again, at a different time of the day or a different season.

Monet was a meticulous and very driven painter. He spent extended periods of his time studying the effect of smoke, steam, rain or fog on the refraction of light. This study led him to once again paint the same scene over and over to capture as many details as he could.

His Water Lilies series, with more than 250 paintings, includes some of his most famous artwork. The oil on canvas painting titled Water Lily Pond and painted in 1919, is one of the most expensive European works of art ever sold. It reached the price of  $80,451,178 in 2008 at an auction in Christie's, London.

The Basket of Apples by Paul Cezanne.
Basket of Apples is a still life oil painting by French artist Paul Cézanne. It belongs to the Helen Birch Bartlett Memorial Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.
 PaintingArtist
1Basket of FruitCaravaggio
2Water LiliesClaude Monet
3The Basket of ApplesPaul Cézanne
4Living Still LifeSalvador Dali
5Campbell's SoupAndy Warhol

"The Basket of Apples" by Paul Cézanne

Paul Cezanne is probably one of the most influential artists of the 19th century. When the Impressionist movement emerged, he gladly joined Pisaro, Renoir and Monet in creating amazing Impressionist landscape paintings and portraits.

For most of the 1870's Cezanne stuck to the Impressionist style but even though his paintings were displayed in exhibitions alongside other artists of the movement, Cezanne's work was always something else, not quite entirely Impressionist.

Cezanne did a lot of work, studying the relationship between naturally occurring geometrical shapes. He always desired to reduce any natural element to its purest geometrical form. Many critics of the time suggested that the rendering of Cezanne's compositions were due to an impaired eye-sight, but no evidence ever suggested such a thing.

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"Living Still Life" by Salvador Dali

Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquess of Dalí de Púbol or simply Salvador Dali, was probably one of the most eccentric and extravagant artists of the twentieth century.

He was also an artistic genius and contributed artwork in many fields, from drawings, paintings, and sculptures to photographies, writings, movies and even fashion.

"32 Campbell's Soup Cans" by Andy Warhol

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from Slovak immigrants parents, not much predestined Andy Warhol to become the pop culture leader of the booming 1960's.

As a sickly child, he was often bedridden and later in life described that time of collecting pictures of movie stars and listening to the radio with his mom as a period of great importance in the development of his personality, skill set and preferences.

32 Campbell's Soup Cans is probably the most famous still-life masterpiece of the modern era. With this work, Warhol linked both classic techniques such as painting and drawing, with advanced processes.

His impact on our modern culture can still be seen pretty much everywhere. Art sales feature his artwork all the time (one-sixth of all contemporary art sales), and his style has influenced both "classical modern art" and pop culture.

Living Still Life painting by Salvador Dali
Nature Morte Vivante or Living Still-life is a painting by the artist Salvador Dalí. Dali painted this piece in 1956, during a period that he called "Nuclear Mysticism". It currently resides at the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Can getting classes help with your still life art?

Whether you are really struggling to throw yourself into your art classes or just need a helping hand in getting started with the still life aspects, there's no reason to be shy! Follow the footsteps of many greats by getting help from a professional. After all, this is what they are there for!

Not to mention that practising still life art or even art, in general, can also can have a significant impact on your wellbeing helping you reduce your levels of stress, increasing creativity, improving concentration and becoming more mindful. Art class can be for whole-body health, and you will begin to feel this effect after a few classes.

Just reading that list of benefits, should have you wanting to go out right now and book a class, but then you also have to find where the art classes are in your area, and how much do they cost? To enlighten yourself, you could try searching the net for 'art classes near me'.

If 'art classes near me' is not what you are looking for exactly, then why not try changing your search term from 'art classes near me' to 'still-life classes near me' or 'art in Ireland', for example.

You could even try practising art before work so that you can get the mind and creative juices fired up so that you can attack the day ahead of you. Alternatively, many working professionals even use their art classes as a means of splitting up the workday by getting creative during their lunch break. This has become even more popular with the increase of remote working.

Still Life artwork by Andy Warhol.
The 32 Campbell's Soup Cans, was produced in 1962 by Andy Warhol. Source: pixabay

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Evidently, there is an abundance of successful still-life artists around the world. Believe it or not, all of these artists were once in the same position as yourself. Despite having access to the amount of material that we have at our disposal today, it may still prove difficult for students to navigate and fully comprehend their work.

This speaks volumes about the road that leads to becoming a renowned still-life artist.

Working alongside a professional art tutor can shed some light on any uncertainties or queries you might have. Many students also find learning art in a one-to-one setting to be more comfortable than in larger groups that you have grown accustomed to from your secondary school education.

Superprof is a community which comprises millions of tutors around the world. Here, students can choose from a library of available art and still life art tutors that operate in their preferred location. Luckily tutors that list their services across the island of Ireland are plentiful!

In most cases, students have the option to arrange a trial tutoring session with their preferred tutor free of charge. This will give you the opportunity to select a tutor based on their respective style of teaching.

The platform also provides students with the option to work in a one-to-one setting from the comfort of their own home, the home of the tutor or alternatively, on a remote basis via webcam. This degree of choice enables students to target their specific weaknesses across both theory and practical aspects of still life art in a manner which best suits them!

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