Definition of still life in US English:

still life

nounPlural still lifes

  • 1A painting or drawing of an arrangement of objects, typically including fruit and flowers and objects contrasting with these in texture, such as bowls and glassware.

    • ‘His compositions generally consist of a few still-life objects against a dark background.’
    • ‘A gallery of production stills and lobby cards show his lighting and composition genius in a still-life context.’
    • ‘This canvas is one of many impressionist paintings in which the still-life elements help to establish the sitter's status by emphasizing luxurious material goods.’
    • ‘Once again I found myself scanning through art books to come up with an inspiring still-life project.’
    • ‘Several of his still-life paintings were designed in pairs and were therefore balanced in theme or composition.’
    • ‘The exhibition features many still-life paintings in addition to her many landscapes.’
    • ‘It vies for space with the still-life resting on it and the solemn figure of the artist's son, Pierre.’
    • ‘Two monumental still-life paintings contain much the same air of portentous unreality.’
    • ‘There is a story that she once ate up some cream cakes which she had bought as a subject for a still-life study, but that is likely to have been from childish greed rather than desperate hunger.’
    • ‘His still-life objects, of course, remain secular, but he endows them with an almost sacramental aura, into which he draws the scullery maid.’
    • ‘He has achieved spectacular success and national acclaim with his still-life compositions of wine and the rituals surrounding its consumption.’
    • ‘Traditional still-life painting is often regarded as typically middle-class, representing the desire to possess and control the objects of daily life.’
    • ‘These still-life paintings have been placed within interiors nationwide and are sure to create a successful design.’
    • ‘As with Dutch still-life painting, the shadows rendered by this special lighting took on a strong visual presence.’
    • ‘Framed in heavy ornate gold like an old-master painting, it offered a still-life arrangement of tropical fruit, stuffed birds and jungle plants.’
    • ‘Magritte included wine bottles in his still-life works, as well as actually painting on them.’
    • ‘The strength of the book can be found in the many still-life images that comprise the artist's work.’
    • ‘Among the still-life photos hanging nearby in the gallery, a studied arrangement of food and flowers seems to belong to these expectant parents and their carefully ordered life.’
    • ‘A few still-life paintings hang in the backdrop and some dark wood pieces as well as sheer curtains frame the room.’
    • ‘He also works with bold colors to create still-life paintings.’
    1. 1.1 Still life as a genre of painting or drawing.
      • ‘For an artist who paints and draws the conventional genres of still life, landscape, portraits and figures, he is surprisingly high-profile.’
      • ‘Not many artists within the milieu of the Madras Art Movement have concentrated their energies in working or redefining the concept of still life.’
      • ‘He is an ecologist, a graduate from Stavropol State University, and a photographer who specialises in still life.’
      • ‘In addition there were also workshops on how to set up your own studio, portrait, still life photography, digital imaging and other skills necessary to enjoy the art of photography to the maximum.’
      • ‘He was the son of a renowned still-life painter, yet tried every type of painting except still life.’
      • ‘Her studio walls are currently a collage of still life drawings and coloured glass compositions in the making.’
      • ‘Lunch comes around slowly after the social session of painting still life in art.’
      • ‘The works in this exhibition demonstrate that unlike other genres such as landscape or still life paintings, the creation of a portrait was a collaboration.’
      • ‘With a digital camera you could get higher or lower resolution, and you could set the film speed for still life or action shots.’
      • ‘Drawing inspiration from colour, Frances' paintings range from landscapes, to still life and portraits.’
      • ‘She spent all of her working life in photography but turned to portraiture, landscapes and still life in recent years.’
      • ‘She works within the traditional genres of landscape, still life, the nude and portraiture, incorporating a wide variety of subjects and techniques to both celebrate and question the medium.’
      • ‘He, on the other hand, created still life and genre paintings.’
      • ‘Also, certificates were awarded to first, second and third in the landscape/seascape, portrait/figurative and still life categories.’
      • ‘Her work will include a variety of scenes of Mullaghmore, surrounding areas and still life paintings.’
      • ‘He has worked on different areas of photography - be it still life, people, food or architecture.’
      • ‘Landscapes, architecture, portrait and still life all feature in the magnificent Herrod portfolio and his images grace many a magazine, book, CD cover and corporate publication.’
      • ‘Instead of showing the rich opulence of harvest that Dutch still life aimed to portray, his paintings outline our consumer culture.’
      • ‘It will feature both slides and photographs including landscapes, still life, portraiture, nature and sports.’
      • ‘At the same time a greater variety of subject matter such as landscape, genre, and still life appeared in painting and Flemish artists became more aware of ideas from Renaissance Italy.’

Pronunciation

still life

/ˈstɪl ˌlaɪf//ˈstil ˌlīf/