Raid the aisles for a classical still life
STILL LIFE DRAWING IS one of the foundations of classical art, and its history can be traced back to the very earliest days of fine art. It has endured through all of the upheavals in the art world, changing in style and mode as the artistic landscape shifted. But if there was one period in which the still life was king, it was Baroque, a highlyornate and extravagant movement that flourished in Europe from the early 17th to the mid-18th century.
Light and symbolism
The Baroque movement in art coincided with a Catholic revival in Europe and, as such, it’s a style that echoes some of the religious iconography from antiquity. But Baroque also revels in an earthy, romantic look, full of warm tones, deep shadows and clever symbolism.
Still life photography lends itself perfectly to the winter months, when the weather can make it difficult to get out and about, and recreating your own Baroque masterpiece can be easily achieved in the simplest of home studios.
Indeed, with control of lighting being key to recreating a style of painting that’s defined by pools of light floating in an ocean of darkness, shooting at night, in a blacked-out room, provides the ideal conditions for a classical revival.
Study the source material from this period and you will see that it’s definitely a case of ‘more is more’, with layers of detail that only reveal themselves after time spent looking. Symbolism abounds – the fig, allegoric of female fertility – is a popular motif and one that we made use of in our recreation. Raid the aisles of your local supermarket for unusual produce and pile it high. Then create a little fine art magic with the simplest of lighting effects…
Above Study the source material for inspiration before setting up your shoot.