Saturday, March 21, 2015

Still life with cliche

I just realised I'm a sucker for a particularly formulaic genre of still life painting, which I only just noticed is kind of cheesy: Stack of Old Books.

The genre comes in several variations:


Stack of Old Books with Candle

probably more than any other...

seriously, I could have gone on all day...

Stack of Old Books with Fruit (usually, but not always, an apple or a pear on top of the books)

(Yes, yes, we get it... snake, apple, knowledge...)

Stack of Old Books with Other Old-Timey Desk Stuff

Stack of Old Books with Tea Cup seems popular

The latest thing seems to be Stack of Old Books with Birds

And of course, my favourite, Stack of Old Books with Memento Mori,

good old "Vanitas"

I've already succumbed to the temptation once. But in my defence, it was a class exercise.

Of course, it might be a bit harsh to call it cliche. In some sense, these subjects and styles are more or less obligatory for artists.

I've got a lot of books, and some of them are appropriately decrepit and dusty. I've also got tea cups, candle sticks, some odds and ends of spooky-looking Dickensian desk stuff and even a skull or two.

Please remind me never to put them all together in a still life.

I'm working on a new skull. Not this one.

One of the sheep skulls I found on my walks. I was thinking of adding a book, but now maybe I won't.


1 comment:

Radical Catholic said...

For some reason, I read the title of this post as "Still life with cilice." Not quite sure what to think about that. Or about the fact that it might have been instrumental in my clicking the link.

Interestingly, it would seem that Stack of Old Books with Candle did not survive the advent of photography. Stack of Old Books with Glasses, on the other hand, is apparently the nucleus around which every self-respecting photostock collection forms.

I like your drawings.