Lets start from the beginning. The concept of “still life” – in German “Stilleben” – does not appear in 1650 in dutch inventories, in competition with other definitions “Fruytagie” (fruit), “Banchket” (representations of banquets or lunches). The correct neologism was coined a century later in France in 1780. Jean-Baptiste Descamps explained “still life” as representations of “still objects ” or “inanimate things“.
Still Life with Fruit and Lobster 1648-1649 JAN DAVIDSZ DE HEEM Berlin Staatliche Museen
The reason for these paintings came first with the economic changes from the dissolution of feudal structures and the increase of a greater demand on the products and also a growing interest in goods of varied origin. Recurring themes of market or kitchen scenes, are indicators of new economic and social relations.
Still Life with culled birds and hunting tools 1660 WILLEM VAN AELST Berlin Staatliche Museen
Agricultural products, fruits and vegetables, scenes of butcheries, seafood, cooking, hunting, desserts, candy, books, flowers, themes on vanity with skull motive, symbol of rot to which man can not escape, are the primary form of flattery attitude towards consumer advertising for product experience. Goods acquire a peculiar charm, are transformed into fetishes libidinally desiderable from which it seemed to came a magical power.
Still Life with Flower Ghirlanda and swallows 1690-1695 BARTOLOMEO BIMBI Museum of Still Life Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano
A repertoire of symbols linked to external power. Besides the noble insignia books, coins, beads, weapons, masks, (symbol of theater), angels, candles, clocks, signs of transience of things, are also pictured. Contemporary still lifes are inspired by those still lifes created in Europe since mid-1600. One of the most important museums in Europe that brings together masterpieces of still lifes is the Museum of Still Life, situated in Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano.
Museum of Still Life, Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano
Examples of extraordinary beauty tell the story of a great collection put together with passion by Medici in the course of a century and a half, from the early seventeenth century to the mid-eighteenth century. Works by Italian, Flemish and Dutch artists, purchased or commissioned, which went on to form the largest existing collection of still lifes in Italy and Europe. Artists such as Bartolomeo Bimbi, Felice Boselli, Jan Brueghel, Margherita Caffi, Giovanna Garzoni, Nicolas van Houbraken, Bartholomew Ligozzi, Gaspar Lopez, Mario de ‘Fiori, Otto Marseus, Cristoforo Munari, Pietro Navarra, Filippo Napoletano, Giuseppe Recco, Andrea Driven, Franz Werner Tamm and many others.
Still Life with poppies in a metal vase 1717 BARTOLOMEO BIMBI Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano
Collections of Medici and Lorena emphasize this important sector of great collectionism of Tuscan dynasties, grand dukes and princes, clients and buyers, which privileged from time to time one or the other of the pleasant residences scattered throughout the territory of the Dominion. And in these villas, they placed themed paintings, which have always represented the family vanity and pride, and which still today constitut the core of many major florentine museums.
Still Life White Moluccan Parrot BARTOLOMEO BIMBI Villa Medici of Poggio a Caiano
Today modern still lifes represent iconographic objects. They express individual identity, telling the story of who wear them. they outline portraits and reveal secrets. In order to love them we must nurture a monomaniac obsessionfor still objects, rich in charm.
Still life is back in fashion. It happens with a series of exhibitions between the U.S. and Europe. David La Chapelle was exhibited during the month of March with the same work in three different cities, Frankfurt, Milan and New York, with the series EARTH LAUGHS IN FLOWERS. Ten still life halfway between baroque floral art and pop culture, that explore vanity of life and beauty.
Colorful flowers portrayed along common objects, symbols of human civility. A metaphor on human arrogance and on the greatness of our planet.Until April the 4th instead, and there is still time to see it, the work of Ori Gersht is on display with a personal exhibition at the New Gallery in Milan.
Still life by DAVID LA CHAPELLE
Still life, since always under evaluated, even in photographs, are back in huge fashion, because objects have the great ability to narrate more effectively everyday life but also its theatricality.
Photographs by ORI GERSHT based upon a 19th Century still-life painting by Henri Fantin-Latour
Fashion is frivolous, of a heavy frivolity, it announces and distorts the present and with its relentless derail, it manages to be sharp. It focuses on past present, summarizes particular characteristics of a culture and its evolution. In February 2012 women’s fashion shows for the autumn-winter 2013, Dolce & Gabbana presented a theatrical, extravagant and bizarre.
Fall Winter 2012-2013 DOLCE & GABBANA
Romantic dresses, inspired by the tradition of Sicilian Baroque: the gilt frames of mirrors, the embroidery of small dots of upholstered lounges, cherub prints extrapolated from paintings. Rich finery of lace and stones, ceramic flowers, laced boots, black lace dress, the cape: the strength of the collection, developed in different proportions.
Fall Winter 2012-2013 DOLCE & GABBANA
There are two essential characteristics: cosmopolitanism and taste for decadence. Praise to the history of Italian art, with a simplified palette of colors: white, black, nude, cream. Sicilian Baroque is far more than a cultural movement in art history.
Oratory of San Lorenzo PALERMO
In Sicily, for a variety of historical-political-socia complications, it has its own Genius Loci and is inherent in the DNA of every Sicilian who makes its own a ‘”expressionism” round, curvy, sunny, swollen and overflowing, as black as the Spanish Baroque or tragic, as it is today the Italian reality, in the vanity of the beautiful country that was.
Palazzo Biscari CATANIA
Dolce & Gabbana sum up the culture and the works of a land which has always been the star of musical and literary myths, old and new “baroque” that bring to mind the stucco of the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo, the precious interiors of Palazzo Biscari in Catania, but also the palette of contemporary, opulent touches of landscapes of Vincent Nucci or the voluptuous mark of Antonio Calascibetta.
Mediterranean Garden VINCENZO NUCCI
A common thread that links all these artists to a deep and vibrant decorative genius, still alive today. When its genius it never disappears.
The Ice Cream ANTONIO CALASCIBETTA
Photography SERENA ELLER Realization ALESSIO NESI
Flesh color palette. Warm tones of malleable consistency. So Italian in their joyful abandon. An almost edible masterpiece, for real gourmets. For a minimalist and seductive femininity, subtly androgynous, natural shades dedicated to love and pleasures of flesh as subtle sensual fragrances are the results of a modern alchemy made with noble ingredients in respect of traditional perfumery. Their arrangements are revealed as an harmonic succession, driven by a passional project.
From top: Fresh Bloom Allover Colour CLINIQUE. Eye-Pops Shadow Vanilla ESTÉE LAUDER. Rouge Vernis Couture Pour À Lèvres Rose Batters 18 YVES SAINT LAURENT. The Creamy Foundation 80 DOLCE & GABBANA. Antioxidant Smoothie Lid 8-Hour CLINIQUE Eye Color. Eau de Parfum Body BURBERRY. The Charm Pencil Nude 1 DOLCE & GABBANA. Paper Fashion Photography Ellen von Unwerth Bikini Brazil 1996.
They suggest a scenario: impressionism’ bouquets with an exotic character. Olfactory harmonies balanced by Tunisian Neroli, Italian Iris, Jasmine, Vanilla. It takes a bouquet of flowers in order to give a woman her natural smell of feminity.
From top: Eau de Parfum Absolue PRADA Infusion d’Iris. Eau de Parfum TOM FORD Violet Blonde. Paper Fashion Photography Ellen von Unwerth Bikini Brazil 1996.
Narration. Rhythm. Geometry. They are the distinctive characteristics of a body of work made of reductionism and detached purity. Lucio Vanotti is a contemporary designer who rarely abandon himself to the usual quotations rétro and summarizes major demands of fashion of his time with the expression of a rational dress that focus on the geometric formalism of cut, shape and volume.
Green,Blue, Green on Blue 1968 MARK ROTHKO
The intense and glossy color comes in for the first time to be part of the entire collection. Color gives a nod to the works of abstract expressionist Mark Rothko and gives to the collection harmony and rhythm to proportions using sharp brightness. While the pure form of silhouette, invisible and ascetic, follows a sharp tailored design, research of cuts follows principles of subtraction and synthesis.
The collections made as a repertoire of possibilities for male and female to decompose and recompose as one wishes. It has as primary aim, the recovery and re-evaluation of classicism as a model of a natural man, released from that fashionable view that has influenced the culture of last decade. Small jackets, trousers, coats, dressing gown, while the inlay of color that defines women’s clothes become rough landscaping.
REFORM, the collection fall / winter 2012-2013 combines the masculine and the feminine aspect of the Renaissance with the expression of color. A permanent collection, static and balanced.
The Flagellation 1469 PIERO DELLA PRANCESCA
What speak are the absolute geometry of cut shape, knits, grain of the fabric, configure compact volumes: brushed cotton and colored moleskin, define trousers and jackets, soft woolen cloth for coats, shirts inlay; velvet for skirts, satin and silk for dresses. To the rational palette, are summed expressive colors with intense and warm tones like fabrics.