Why is there a skull on a table with food, books, and globes? Vanitas paintings were reminders to wealthy patrons of the inevitability of death. But why?! Read on to see why this genre was popular in both 17th century Dutch society and contemporary art.
Perhaps the most easily recognized genre in art, the still life is often ranked lowest among the principle subject types of Western art. Here, we explore the longevity of the genre and how artists have made it their own.