Vanitas

From Academic Kids

Missing image
Claesz-vanitas.jpg
Vanitas, by Pieter Claesz

Vanitas is a term referring to the arts, learning and time. The word is Latin, meaning "vanity." It is often depicted in still life paintings by Northern European painters (Dutch, Netherlands) and symbolized by the presence of different symbols. Common vanitas symbols are skulls, rotten or rotting fruit, watches or hourglasses and musical instruments.

It is a message that tells the viewer that the pleasure of life only lasts a moment: because time is limited, live fully the present moment. The symbolism of a skull or rotten fruit remind us of mortality. Musical instruments show the vanity of music; as soon as the music starts, it will die. Music is an ephemeral moment explaining that the return is impossible; it begins and it ends.

See Also

External links

fr:Vanité nl:Vanitas

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