A painting called a “still life” in English would be a nature morte (dead nature) in French. Both terms refer to paintings in which the subject is dead: animals, plants, crockery or other inanimate objects. Still-life motifs were included as accents in history paintings, then developed into an independent genre from the sixteenth century on. The still life, which allows the artist to arrange unchanging motifs at will, has been a prime experimental platform for artists from the Modern period on. We hope that you will enjoy the worlds of still lifes, permeated with the individuality of the Western and Eastern artists who created them.
Blue was a critically significant color to Dufy, who grew up in the port city of Le Havre, France, and he used it effectively in many of his works. In this painting, blue covers much of the picture plane, accentuating the colors of the fruit. The yellow bananas are depicted as though seen from above, while the two boxes filled with red strawberries and cherries are rendered using a slightly distorted linear perspective and the depiction of the two strawberries outside the box is flattened. Dufy, who was influenced by Impressionism and Fauvism, began to be interested in Cubism around 1909. The manner in which he addressed geometric forms and created a flattened pictorial space in this painting makes use of effects he learned from Cubism. From the 1920s on, Dufy created his own jaunty style.