The Baroque age in art also saw the surge of the Still Life. A still life is a painting of an arrangement of inanimate objects usually showcased on a tabletop or other flat surface in an enclosed space. We have all seen paintings like this before and may have thought them simple or even boring enough, but "surely all this is not without meaning."
In this case, the "subject" is whatever is pictured in the image. The subject of a still life can be a glass cup, a vase of flowers, a book, a skull, or (most popularly) an assortment of objects. To the untrained eye these items can at first appear random, but as you will see, some still life paintings ambitiously tackle more subject matter, artistic form, color scheme, and picturesque detail than landscapes or historical paintings.
Still lifes—and I distinguish: the plural of "still life" is not "still lives"—can offer a unique blend of genres for both artist and viewer. By simply painting immobile objects on a stationary table or drawer-top, the artist can have the chance of practicing his trade on something decidedly easier than, say, a portrait, where a live sitter is involved (who coughs, moves, easily becomes bored, and can distract the painter from his duty). In the case of a still life, the objects are all completely motionless; the artist can take all day, or even a year—it matters not: the objects will still be there.