still life

plural still lifes

Definition of still life

1 : a picture consisting predominantly of inanimate objects
2 : the category of graphic arts concerned with inanimate subject matter

Examples of still life in a Sentence

an exhibit of still lifes She prefers portraiture to still life.

Recent Examples on the Web

Art demonstration The Los Gatos Art Association will host a Sept. 8 meeting with artist Jared Sines, who will demonstrate painting a still life in oils. Anne Gelhaus, The Mercury News, "Los Gatos community briefs for the week of Sept. 6," 1 Sep. 2019 How might this still life yield a latent image capable of articulating another kind of existence, a runaway image that conveys the riot inside? Longreads, "A Minor Figure," 20 July 2019 This unusual work, on loan from Dublin’s National Gallery of Ireland, combines portraiture, still life and religious narrative in a single rectangular canvas just under 2 feet high and twice as wide. Christopher Knight,, "Review: 3 Velázquez paintings alone are reason to go, now, to this San Diego show," 26 June 2019 For still life: botanical illustrators too many to mention by name. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Denver Art Museum’s star curator, Timothy Standring, throws a show of his own work," 5 Aug. 2019 The late still lifes have been hung together in the show’s humble yet heart-rending penultimate room. Washington Post, "Édouard Manet spent his final days in excruciating pain — and creating his most thrilling art," 7 June 2019 His first cover shot for Vogue, in fall 1943, resembled a Dutch still life, with its careful composition of that season’s accessories, including gloves, an oversize cocktail ring and a handbag. Lesley M. M. Blume, WSJ, "Master Photographer Irving Penn’s First Major Painting Exhibition: An Exclusive Look," 6 Sep. 2018 As evidenced in her first book, Lulu Powers Food to Flowers (William Morrow), her trademark is lush, abundant arrangements that look as painterly as a still life. Kathryn O’shea-evans, House Beautiful, "Lulu Powers' Overflowing Tablescape Is All About "More Is More"," 31 Dec. 2015 Beauchemin oversaw the interior color scheme and furniture placement while De Laat, like a Dutch painter composing a still life, created arrangements of objects and art. Gisela Williams, ELLE Decor, "Going Dutch," 15 May 2012

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'still life.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of still life

1695, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for still life

Last Updated

19 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for still life

The first known use of still life was in 1695

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More Definitions for still life

still life


English Language Learners Definition of still life

: a painting, drawing, etc., of a carefully arranged group of objects (such as flowers and fruit) also : the art or activity of making still lifes

More from Merriam-Webster on still life

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with still life

Spanish Central: Translation of still life

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