Learn to rediscover the extraordinary in everyday life through our incredible selection of genre paintings in which KAZoART's artists, acting as astute observers, create paintings depicting scenes of everyday life. Life can offer many magnificent suprises, keep your eyes open!
Depicting the men and women of the people going about their daily lives in a large format represented a small revolution in the art world in the 15th century. It was with Jan Van Eyck and his famous painting The Arnolfini Portrait that the depiction of personal lives became the main subject of paintings. For Pieter Bruegel, traditional holidays, banquets and hunting scenes became the favoured theme of his vast body of work, emphasizing the cultural and social values of his time (The Hunters in the Snow, The Wedding Dance, The Beggars).
Quentin de Metsys's Money-Lender and his Wife moved away from the simple representation of his era in favour of religious morality. In France, it was not until the 19th century, with painters such as Victor Gabriel Gilbert, that the ordinary and everyday were depicted in genre paintings (Un coin des halles, Les porteurs de viande). Focusing on stylization and pictorial evolution, Pierre Bonnard, with Woman with Black Stockings, and Paul Gauguin, with Ta Matete, joined this group of painters using the commonplace to magnify the genre.
Genre paintings use a pictorial method that stages figures going about their everyday life. Everyday life paintings have existed since Antiquity (eg. Egyptian frescoes of people working in fields), but it was not until the work of Flemish painters in the 15th century that the genre really flourished. Before that, religion was at the heart of artistic production and genre scenes depicting the simple life of a merchant or peasant were simply anecdotal.
Nonetheless, in some religious scenes (for example, the birth of Christ), we do find paintings depicting scenes of everyday life. In the 19th century, genre painting became more popular than any other type of painting with the Realists, with the Impressionists moving in the polar opposite direction of the classification allowed by the Royal Academy. Finally, in the 20th century, everyday life became a key subject for artists such as Edward Hopper, who critiqued the frenetic life of modern man, creating genre scenes depicting a world in which humankind was imbued with profound melancholy and solitude.