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Frozen Time: The Art of Still Life


We’re sorry but Section 1 is now full/closed. If you wish to be added to a wait list, please send an email to us at sps.cala@nyu.edu. We will contact you if a place opens up.

Édouard Manet once called still life “the touchstone of painting.” This genre—the portrayal of familiar, inanimate objects—got its name in 17th-century Holland, but still life paintings already could be found on the walls of tombs of ancient Egyptian nobles, who no doubt, wanted to enjoy what’s depicted in them in the next world. This course explores the genre’s rich history, tracing how still life painting has evolved over time and examining its enduring qualities. We will study spectacular examples from the Golden Age of Dutch painting that depict elaborate buffets with startling veracity, Cézanne’s dazzling nature morte works, the near-abstract still lifes of Picasso’s and Braque’s cubist period, Georgia O’Keeffe’s large-scale studies of flowers, Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans, Robert Mapplethorpe’s aestheticized photographs of flowers and skulls, and much more. The reading of excerpts from Marc Doty’s remarkable book, Still Life with Oysters and Lemon: On Objects and Intimacy, will complement our exploration of this remarkable genre that imbues the inanimate object with meaning and makes it come alive.

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You'll Walk Away with

  • An understanding of the history and development of the still life genre
  • Familiarity with famous artists and their still life masterpieces

Ideal for

  • Art enthusiasts
  • Prospective and practicing arts professionals
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.