Vanitas (Latin for 'vanity') is a genre of art which uses symbolism to show the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death. The paintings involved still life imagery of transitory items. The genre began in the 16th century and continued into the 17th century. Vanitas art is a type of allegorical art representing a higher ideal.
The word vanitas comes from Latin and means vanity. Vanity is referenced in the Bible's Old Testament in Ecclesiastes 12:8, "Vanity of Vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity". The message is that human action is temporary and faith is forever.
Vanitas is a sub-genre of still life painting which Dutch painters during the Baroque period (c.1585–1730) employed. The Spanish painters also created vanitas paintings which coincided with the end of the Spanish Golden Age. Memento mori is a similar theme which when translated from Latin means, "remember that you will die."
A group of painters in Leiden began to produce vanitas paintings beginning in the 16th century and they continued into the 17th century. Vanitas art is a type of allegorical art representing a higher ideal or containing hidden meanings. Vanitas are very formulaic and they use literary and traditional symbols to convey mortality. Vanitas often have a message that is rooted in religion or the Christian Bible.
In the 17th century the vanitas genre was popular among Dutch painters. The paintings often have symbolic imagery which attempts to convey the message that we will die, and we should think about futility of our earthly pursuits. The well known Spanish vanitas refer to Spain's rulers and the politics of Spain. It was popular to include skulls in vanitas paintings. In the 17th century, a skull symbolized the ephemeral nature of life.
Outside visual art edit
- The first movement in composer Robert Schumann's 5 Pieces in a Folk Style, for Cello and Piano, Op. 102 is entitled Vanitas vanitatum: Mit Humor.
- Vanitas vanitatum is the title of an oratorio written by an Italian Baroque composer Giacomo Carissimi (1604/05–1674).
- Vanitas is the seventh album by British Extreme Metal band Anaal Nathrakh.
- Vanitas is the name of a character from the Kingdom Hearts franchise.
- Vanitas is the name of one of the two main characters from Vanitas no Carte
- Vanitas is the motto of The Harvard Lampoon
- Vanitas is the second album by New Jersey Power Metal band Platinum.
In modern times edit
- Jana Sterbak, Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic, artwork, 1987.
- Alexander de Cadenet, Skull Portraits, various subjects, 1996 – present.
- Philippe Pasqua, series of skulls, sculpture, 1990s – present.
- Anne de Carbuccia, One Planet One Future, various subjects, 2013 – present.
Vanitas Still Life with Self-Portrait, Pieter Claesz, 1628
Vanitas painting, self-portrait c. 1610, most probably by Clara Peeters
Vanitas by Evert Collier, 1669
Vanitas-Still Life, Maria van Oosterwijck (1630–1693)
Vanitas, by Abraham Mignon
Vanitas with bust, Joannes de Cordua (1630–1702)
Allegory of Charles I of England and Henrietta of France in a Vanitas Still Life by Carstian Luyckx
Vanitas Still-Life with a Bouquet and a Skull, Adriaen van Utrecht, 1642
Dutch Vanitas Still Life with Books by Jan Lievens
Vanitas by Jan Sanders van Hemessen
See also edit
- "Vanitas". The National Gallery. Archived from the original on 8 July 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Hibbitt, Fraser (14 July 2020). "Vanitas: Dutch Master Paintings Explained". The Collector. Archived from the original on 7 October 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Iacob, Anisia (3 January 2023). "The Fascinating Traits of Spanish Vanitas Paintings". The Collector. Archived from the original on 4 January 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Muzdakis, Madeleine (12 February 2022). "Vanitas: Paintings by the Dutch Old Masters Inspired by Life and Death". My Modern Met. Archived from the original on 26 September 2022. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- McIver, Katherine A. (2016). Art and music in the early modern period : essays in honor of Franca Trinchieri Camiz. London: Taylor & Francis. pp. 292, 293. ISBN 9781351575683. Retrieved 5 March 2023.
- Murray, Lucy Millerr (2015). Chamber music : an extensive guide for listeners. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 366. ISBN 9781442243439. Archived from the original on 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Long, Siobhan (2015). The Bible in music : a dictionary of songs, works, and more. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. p. 251. ISBN 9780810884526. Archived from the original on 2023-03-04. Retrieved 2023-03-04.
- Crowcroft, Orlando (2017). Rock in a hard place : music and mayhem in the Middle East. London: Zed Books. p. 301. ISBN 9781786990174. Archived from the original on 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Kanemaki, Tomoco; Oka, Masaru (2020). Kingdom Hearts III: The Novel, Vol. 2 (light Novel). New York City, New York: Yen Press. ISBN 9781975315313. Archived from the original on 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Morrissy, Kim (July 4, 2021). "Aniplex Online Fest 2021: Making of The Case Study of Vanitas". Anime News Network. Archived from the original on January 28, 2022. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
- The Harvard Lampoon Fiftieth Anniversary, 1876-1926. The University of Michigan: Harvard Lampoon. 1926. p. 14. Archived from the original on 4 March 2023. Retrieved 4 March 2023.
- Rowley, Storer H. "'Flesh dress' is rotten art, some Canadians say". The Spokane-Review. Spokane WA. Chicago Tribune. p. 16. Archived from the original on 1 January 2023. Retrieved 6 August 2011.
- "Artist Information and Statement | Alexander de Cadenet". Archived from the original on 2014-12-09. Retrieved 2014-12-09.
- "Divertissements macabres". Les Échos. 14 May 2010. p. 13..
- Zargani, Luisa (2016-01-28). "Anne de Carbuccia's Moments in Time". WWD. Archived from the original on 2016-11-07. Retrieved 2017-03-28.