Friday, 6 January 2012


Thanks to e-membrance for this. 

It seems that Vanitas is a school of art focused on death and emphasising the 'meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of vanity' (Wikipedia).

Ironically, for me, reflecting on death emphasises the importance of earthly life and the need to take its essence rather than its meaninglessness. However the pics and the music are fantastic and the (slightly camp) German chanting that starts towards the end is most entertaining!


  1. The vocals do rather rub it in, in a gloating way.

    When does healthy awareness stray into morbid preoccupation?

    Marvellous slideshow. We live and we learn. Well, we hope we live.

  2. This is a very half baked thought, but while watching this it occurred to me that the Vanitas movement is very similar to today's Green movement. It was considered uncouth to flaunt one's wealth without tempering it with a moral message. In the 17th century, the moral message was Vanitas - "I'm wealthy, but I realize all this is temporary and will disappear with death - and then I'll know true wealth in the form of Christ." Today the moral message is going green - "Look at my beautiful house, beautiful clothing, etc. But it's okay because it's all ecofriendly and minimizing my carbon footprint," etc.

    Of course this is completely unsubstantiated by any research, just a random observation.


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