Art: Chamber Music

One reason why artists like to do still lifes is because they are the easiest kind of painting. Models that stay put are a big help; and such typical still life subjects as apples, books, pipes, when carefully copied, have a kind of teasing charm—like candy in a showcase. But the champions of still life, from Memling* to Picasso, have found its very simplicity a challenge.

Professional artists have sometimes met that challenge by reducing realism to photographic limits; amateurs have generally chosen an easier way out, painting unconsciously formalized, decorative interpretations of their subjects. Both methods are discussed, and well illustrated...

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