A still life is a work of art where the predominant subject matter is that of inanimate objects, either natural or man-made. The pictorial representation of objects exists since Antiquity, but it was not until the Renaissance that still life emerged as an independent genre.

"Still Life with Partridge and Gauntlets" (1504) by Jacopo de’ Barbari is generally considered the first of its kind. The term “still life” derives from the Dutch word stilleven, which literally means motionless or silent life. This terminological detail reminds us that this genre had its heyday during the Dutch Golden Age.

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