Search museums


Search collections


"In painting, staffage (French pronunciation: ​[stafaʒ]) are the human and animal figures depicted in a scene, especially a landscape, that are not the primary subject matter of the work. Typically they are small, and there to add an indication of scale and add interest.

Before the adoption of the word into the visual arts in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Staffage in German could mean "accessories" or "decoration". The word can be used in two senses: as a general term for any figures in a work, even when they are, at least ostensibly, the main subject, and as a descriptive term for figures to whom no specific identity or story is attached, included merely for compositional or decorative reasons. In the latter sense, staffage are accessories to the scene, yet add life to the work; they provide depth to the painting and reinforce the main subject, as well as giving a clear scale to the rest of the composition." - ( 03.11.2019)

Objects and visualizations

Relations to objects

Show objects