The latest entry in the James Mcmullan’s NYTimes series, Line by Line is called, The Frisbee of Art. He writes, “The ellipse is the Frisbee of art, the circle freed from its flatness that sails out into imagined space tilting this way and that and ending up on the top of the soup bowl and silver cup in Jean-Baptiste Chardin’s still life or, imagine this, on the wheels of the speeding Batmobile. Once you tune into ellipses, you will begin to see them everywhere…” This article comes at a perfect time for us (see current reading assignment in Week 5 of our syllabus).
< Note how Cezanne tilts his elipses at strange angles, breaking all the rules.
Here are more examples of the elipse in still life painting:
Kapitolina Rumiantseva, Still life with white tea-cup 1969