Still Life with Gray Parrot (work of art)
Key Ideas about this Work of Art
- Still life paintings are paintings of natural (usually nonliving) or human-made objects.
- These types of paintings were often created as a way to showcase an artist’s talent and highlight the beauty of everyday life.
- The African gray parrot in this painting was a product of the European colonization of Africa.
- Frans Snyders is best known for painting animals. His still life paintings often include images of live animals and dead game (animals that are hunted).
This painting features a variety of grapes, dead birds, a Chinese bowl, a gold Italian serving dish, a woven basket, and an African gray parrot. The realistic textures and colors of these objects showcase the artist’s skill in capturing the details of the world around him.
Flemish artist Frans Snyders specialized in painting animals. His still lifes of market scenes and food pantries often include live animals and dead game. His work is an example of the Dutch still life genre. Still life artists like Snyders painted ordinary objects and made them seem more important. The carefully painted objects also reminded viewers of the beauty in their everyday lives.
The African gray parrot in this painting was a product of the European colonization of Africa. When Snyders created this still life in the 1600s, the African parrot and the Chinese bowl would have appealed to European colonizers who wanted to own “exotic goods.”
Resources for Teachers:
- Read an article about still life painting and discover why it became popular.
- Read an article about Frans Snyders.
- Explore a vanitas painting and learn how symbolism is used in still life paintings.
Resources for Students:
- View another still life painting by Frans Snyders.
- Read a short article about the European colonization of Africa.
- Watch a video tutorial on how to make a still life using everyday objects.