Still-life paintings began as far back as the time of the ancient Egyptian tombs and ancient Greek mosaics. By the 16th century, paintings of food and flowers represented the importance of the five senses, while objects such as the skull would be placed into the paintings as well to symbolize inevitable death of all humans. Oil paintings of flowers done in a realist style became somewhat of a craze, and many of these most famous works were created. By the 18th century, religious and allegorical connections that had long been popular in still-life painting were dropped in favor of still-life themes as we know them today: breakfast tables, flower arrangements and the occasional skull, book or vase. As the 1800s ended and the 1900s began, the Impressionists began to take over the still-life genre, continuing the paint flowers and fruits in a somewhat realistic manner, but using colors that were highly unrealistic and surprising.
overstockArt's selection of reproductions of the most famous still-life paintings includes a sample of works from these later years in still-life painting. Paul Cezanne's elaborate table sets with draped fabrics, fruits and glassware done in his signature Post-Impressionist style feature bold, visible brush strokes combined with realistic color schemes. Cezanne also created still-life oil paintings with skulls to symbolize the impermanence of human life. overstockArt's reproductions of these famous still-life works by artists like Cezanne, Renoir and Van Gogh are all hand painted on artist-grade canvas, with each original detail recreated to give you the most authentic still-life oil painting at a competitive value.