Project Natures Mortes Vivantes
Project Natures Mortes Vivantes

Natures Mortes Vivantes

Reconstruction of still life masterpieces with animals as the perturbing factor.

The staging of  Chardin’s La Raie is the point of departure for an exploration of still lives as genre. The French term differs from the English and German one in that nature is considered as dead, a Nature Morte. The depiction of ‘dead nature’ is in part the subject of the painting, and in this case, aptly describes the stingray, which is indeed dead. Yet there a perturbing factor : the cat that walks along the row of oysters next to the ray. How does this cat fit into the idea of a dead nature or even still life? In choosing to keep the cat alive, is Chardin commenting on the genre, or rather making a case for the representation of an aliveness in the space in which the painting is being made?

A time line:


Vases are already present

I bring the flowers

I lay them on the table

The masterpiece is a photocopy on the wall (colour)

I put the flowers in the vase

I bring the fish, the lemons, the petals.

I put everything in place.

Arrives the bird.


(Les natures mortes de Morandi)

La Raie d’après Chardin