Oil on wood, 61x51cm Rijksmuseum Kröller-Müller, Otterlo
This still-life painting is on the back of the portrait of Jane-Loyse Tissier.
vanitas (Lat. "emptiness")
A painting (or element in painting) that acts as a reminder of the inevitabiliry of death, and the pointlessness of earthly ambitions and achievements. Common vanitas-symbols include skulls, guttering candles, hour-glasses and clocks, overturned vessels, and even flowers (which will soon fade). The vanitas theme became popular during the Baroque, with the vanitas still life flourishing in Dutch art.
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