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The still life is a type of painting that has been around since ancient times, and refers to the representation of food and kitchen utensils. In ancient cultures such as the Roman and Egyptian empires, this topic was common in both mosaics and paintings, but always as a secondary theme against a major topic, be it mythological or relating to everyday life. Still life would not become a major them until the XVI century, when it would begin to be considered as a main subject.
The first proper still life considered as such, which started the history of the genre, was painted by Caravaggio in 1596. Within Spain, the pioneers of this subject were, first and foremost, Juan Sánchez Cotán and subsequently Zurbarán and Velázquez, who treated the subject with extreme realism and detail.
Impressionism, a pictorial current that emerged in the XIX century was a major turning point for the still life painting. It promoted a great pictorial revolution that faced the academicism that had prevailed so far. Impressionism gave way to experimentation in the field of painting, through the change of color, shape, space, texture ... The important thing was not what was being painted, but what techniques were used for it. Cézanne was the clear reference of this period.
The contemporary still life is heir to the painting of the second half of the XX century. It differs from the art of previous decades in the use of procedures and techniques that have not traditionally been associated with painting, including photography, advertising printing, found objects, etc..