The vanitas work of art was especially associated with Northern European still life painting in Flanders, Holland and the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th centuries.
COMMON SYMBOLS include:
~ skulls: certainty of death
~ rotten fruit: decay and aging
~ bubbles: sudden death, brief death
~ smoke, watches, hourglasses: short life
~ musical instruments: short lived, lasting only one day
~ fruit, flowers, butterflies can be interpreted the same way
The current painting in progress features a young woman in mask and white dress, she is revealing her bones and is holding a skull and is pinned with drooping roses. Behind her is an hour glass already empty, she is of course already dead hence a part of the Skeleton Krew. I'm looking forward to share this collection and my newest paintings in my art show come January.
Top image: Vanitas Still Life, 1603. Jaques de Gheyn the Elder (Dutch, 1565-1629) Oil on wood; 32 1/2 x 21 1/4 in. The Meropolitan Museum of Art New York, Vanitas Still Life
Bottom image: Adriaen Pietersz. van de Venne, Ex minimis patest ipse Dues (God is revealed in the smallest work of his creation), from Zeeusche nachtegael (Middleburgh, 1623), National Gallery of Art, Washington, Library