Five Tables of Still Lifes

Still lifes make small promises that offer large pleasures: they depict a grouping of objects—natural or man-made—that can stand in for a person, represent the world in miniature, or show off an artist’s unerring virtuosity. The glories of cut flowers bloom in 1925 prints by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Pierre Bonnard and in Chinese albums by Xu Gu and Chen Zhuan; prized possessions are deftly limned in New Year’s prints by Shinsai and the Wang Wen handscroll Scholars Examining Ancient Bronzes; images of food tempt in prints by California artists Wayne Thiebaud and Paul Wonner; and more.

Wayne Thiebaud, Lemon Meringue, 1964; etching, drypoint; 4 x 4 7/8 in.; Gift of Joy E. Feinberg;