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Everyday Life - Everyday Antiquities, The Everyday In Academic Discourse, The Discovery Of The Everyday, The History Of The Everyday

example subject painters painting

When everyday life was first considered a proper subject for reflection it is obviously impossible to say, but an increasing interest in the subject can be traced over the last few centuries, at least in the West. Mystics have long regarded everyday things and everyday routines as a way to become closer to God. From the fifteenth century onward, painters in the Netherlands in particular paid more attention to everyday objects and to the everyday lives of ordinary people, creating new genres such as the still-life and the genre painting. Whether painters or their patrons were becoming more interested in daily life for its own sake, or whether their aim was to look beneath the everyday surface for moral or mystical meanings, remains controversial. For example, Louis Le Nain's painting of peasants having a meal (Le repas des paysans, 1642), now in the Louvre, has been variously interpreted as an example of realism and as an attempt to sanctify the everyday in the manner recommended by the religious writer Jean-Jacques Olier a few years later in his La journée chrétienne (1657).

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