Here is an interesting Quote about still life that was also discussed at the British Museum Visit-“In the hierarchy of genres (or subject types) for art established in the seventeenth century by the French Academy, still life was ranked at the bottom – fifth after history painting, portraiture, genre painting (scenes of everyday life) and landscape. Still life and landscape were considered lowly because they did not involve human subject matter” (Tate).
Giorgio Morandi- Composition
On the surface Giorgio Morandi’s compositions look very simple but according to research I have done this is a deceptive notion Morandi was very obsessive about the placement of objects. He would spend significant time obsessively moving objects around to find the right placement or position. The objects often overlapped or sit tightly next to each other but he would explore various combinations. This was more to do with volume, shape and space of the objects rather than the narrative of the objects. Looking at multiple shapes of the objects he often paints a scene where unrealted objects appear all at the same height or sometime with just one anomyly of one object. The objects lack of hierarchy of a purpose as they appear just as volumes. There is no identity to the objects or whom or where the objects belong to. The perspective of the painting either looks straight or downwards.
This article in the independent explains it well:
“Take this Still Life from 1953. It presents five objects in a tight group. Morandi shows little interest in their domestic lives. They are removed from any kitchen scenario. The cup, the vase, and the three boxes are little more than a set of solids. Their volumes are made clear, roughly squared or rounded forms. This clear geometry is important to the picture’s central trick. It means that, though we can only partly see some of these objects, we’re able easily to judge their unseen volumes” (Lubbock T).
Tate Still life Art Terms [Online] At: http://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/s/still-life
Lubbock T 2009 Great Works Still Life [Online] At:http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-still-life-1953-giorgio-morandi-1758344.html