Basket of Fruit, Caravaggio (Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio)
This striking still life by the 16th century Italian master is in contention for being the first “pure” still iife, in the sense of the subject having been painted for its own sake, rather than as religious allegory.
Whether that’s the case or not, it’s a striking example of still life, stunning to this day, with its odd composition, appealing color and masterful rendering by an artist we usually think of as a painter of the human face and figure.
It’s interesting to compare this with Caravaggio’s other famous, but more elaborate still life: Still Life With Fruit, for which I’ve been unable to find a large image.
For more, see my post on Caravaggio.