“Still Life: (Fr. nature morte) A painting, drawing, or mosaic of a group of inanimate objects, i.e. dead or at least motionless objects, such as fruit, flowers, dead fish or game, and common household objects. Still lifes were typical of Greek and Roman mosaics, but they did not remerge until the 16th century, when they became popular subjects especially in Dutch, Flemish, Spanish, and Neapolitan painting. See VANITAS.”
Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.