As you may know many artist (like Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh) have used fruit as part of their elements that make up a still life. And as our title says many times they have made use of oranges.
So can we ask why?
Well it may show that oranges were abundant over a wide range of locations so the fruit was available. It also works out that the colorful nature of the orange helped compose a vibrant image. And perhaps last but not least was that the pigments to make up the orange color in the image was an available ingredient, as many artist of the past needed to also make their own paints.
If we think along the lines of a starving young artist we can also keep in mind that the oranges keep for a good length of time and after being used in the image they could also be eaten. Few elements in a still life could offer so many advantages.
As part of a training exercise the spherical shape of the orange allows a range of shades in both the body of the fruit and in its shadow play across the canvas.
We must take a moment to say that not only are oranges used, but other citrus (like lemons) have been used in the still life category of art. We must add that apples make up a large part of items used in still lifes.
Even after the transition to creation of photographic images the orange as the subject matter in still life art continues. The colorful nature of the subject and the transition of shadow play is a consistent theme. Early on the images were only in black and white so in that case it was a study of tones and shadows that were part of the artistic exercise.
We would rather eat an orange that just create the image. With such a complex and wonderful taste who can blame us.
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