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Life scenes paintings

Carré d'artistes presents a wide selection of slice of life paintings. Slices of life are an important theme in painting. Also called "genre scenes", they represent familiar moments of daily life. Very popular in the history of art, this painting evolves with contemporary artists who continue to bring it to life.

History of genre scenes

The painting of slices of life appears at the end of the Middle Ages, at the turn of the Renaissance. It's in Flanders that we find the first paintings of this kind. Before this time, painting mainly represented religious events, far from the daily life of men. Some scenes from ancient art are similar to slices of life, but they did not belong to a specific genre. During the Renaissance, religion was still very important, but it was less dominant in art compared to previous centuries. Little by little, artists can reproduce in their works secular scenes of common life. Italy and France remained not very receptive to this type of painting for a long time; it's in the Netherlands, in the 16th and 17th centuries, that the slices of life become a noticeable genre of painting. Painters innovate by reproducing landscapes with men, the activity of peasants, people at work, musicians, housewives, etc. These paintings are wonderful resources for understanding the lives of the men and women of the time. It is important to note that these paintings were generally small since the genre was considered minor compared to history, religious, or landscape painting. In the 19th century, genre painting gained in importance following the decline in popularity of religious paintings. Little by little, the slices of life are no longer considered as paintings of a minor genre: the size of the works becomes more and more imposing. The genre also developed in the 20th century, in a modern and then contemporary way, and persists to this day.

Famous painters and paintings

Painting the ordinary life of common people is very attractive to artists. It is a subject that offers many possibilities and great variations in themes and compositions. It is usually considered that Jan van Eyck's painting of The Arnolfini portrait (1434) establishes and lays down the rules for this kind of painting. Hieronymus Bosch's paintings, in the second half of the 15th century, are also representations (although fantastical) of ordinary life. Other famous paintings: The lender and his wife (1514) by Quentin Metsys. Well known, Pieter Brueghel the Elder creates superb works of peasant life or proverbs. In the Netherlands, Vermeer sublimates everyday scenes, as in The Milkmaid (1658) or The Astronomer (1668). In France, Louis Le Nain, Fragonard or Georges de La Tour, make many paintings of slices of life. In Spain, we find Velasquez and Murillo among the most famous. In the 19th century, Courbet dominates genre painting and disregards norms by being the first to paint his scenes on huge canvases (usually reserved for history paintings). In the twentieth century the genre is still developing following artistic movements. Artists like Pierre Bonnard or Edward Hopper love to paint everyday subjects.

At Carré d'artistes, discover contemporary paintings of slices of life by artists such as Nicole Garilly, Brooksby, Niankoye Lama, Baubeau de Secondigné, and even more.

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