A still-life is a work of art depicting mostly inanimate subject matter, typically commonplace objects which may be either natural or man-made.  With origins in the Middle Ages and Ancient Graeco-Roman art, still-life painting emerged as a distinct genre in Western painting by the late 16th century.  Still- life gives the artist more freedom in the arrangement of elements within a composition than do paintings of other types of subjects such as landscapes or portraiture.