Vanitas with Globe and Fruit


Wakefield, United Kingdom

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Artist's Description

Vanitas still life paintings are mostly associated with the 16c and 17c Netherlands and Flanders painters. Heavily symbol laden, they were usually meant as a reminder of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death. They also provided a moral justification for many paintings of attractive objects.

In this image I have included a number of Vanitas symbols…

The skull, a reminder of the certainty of death;

Over Ripe Fruit, which symbolizes the decay of ageing, and the ephemeral nature of life… also a peeled lemon, which is like life, attractive to look at, but bitter to taste.;

Smoke, and the almost burned out Candle which symbolize the brevity of life;

The Cards and Dice are an obvious reference to gambling – a form of excess;

The pipe is a symbol of vanity and excess;

The Bible rests on the book of Job: 14.1 – “Man that is born of Woman is of few days, and is full of trouble”;

The Eyeglasses are an indication of ageing and decline;

The visible section of the Globe is showing the area from the Middle East to the Seas off China, reminding us of the Unrest and Natural Disasters currently unfolding in these areas;

In this case, the Dice have also been used to give a personal note to the picture – the 14th being my birthday… as to the significance of the reflected numbers, you’ll have to work that one out yourselves

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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