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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Vanitas Still Life: Soup Bubbles, a garlanded Skull, an Hourglass, a Watch, a snuffed Candle and other objects on a partly draped Table"
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Look at what I found on the Online Galleries website!
The Colnaghi picture is a vanitas still life. It contains numerous references to the passing of time (the hourglass and watch), the vanity of our existence (the mirror), the transience of life (soap bubbles) and the inevitable conclusion of this - death (the snuffed candle and skull). If this then is the human condition, what can man do? The garland atop the skull may suggest that fame can perhaps offer some form of escape from death. However, the real answer is provided by the text on the sheet of paper, written in three languages (Latin, French and Flemish) and in three different scripts so all may understand: man must lead a sinless life, and then one will be rewarded on the day of the Last Judgement (alluded to by the painting in the background depicting Saint Jerome visited by the angel sounding the Last Judgment).
The texts are as follows:
MEMORARE NOVISSIMA ET IN AETERNUM NON PECCABIS
Si tu veulx viure [vivre] sans pecheŒ voij ceste image a tous propos et
point ne sera empesche quand tü tŒen iras a repos.
Merct dit met Aendachtigeyt
spiegelt u hier in dit belt
ghij sult inden sunicheijt
Vrij van sonden syn gestelt.
The first two sentences may be translated as follows:
‘Now and in all eternity we shall not sin.’
‘If you wish to live without sin, take a look at this painting whenever possible, and you will not have to be ashamed of anything when you go to your last rest.’
The same sentiment is echoed in the Flemish text.
|Height||64.20 cm||(25.28 inches)|
|Width||80.00 cm||(31.50 inches)|