A genre long difficult to name
Rhopography. In his Natural History, Pliny the Elder evokes a painter nicknamed the « rhyparographer » because he is attached to vile things. Following him, archaeologists call ancient representations of small objects rhopographies.
Still life. The expression only appears in French and Italian in the middle of the 18th century.e century to designate the painting of inanimate things, a genre considered minor.
Still Life or Stilleben. In English and German, we prefer to speak from the XVIIe century of « silent » or « immobile life ».
» Things « . The title of the Louvre exhibition is borrowed from the novel by Georges Perec which, in 1965, describes a couple lost in the face of consumer society.