About the work

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Evert (Edwaert) Collier was a 17th-century Dutch painter. Vanitas Still Life is one of many vanitas painted by Collier. In his densely symbolic works, he represented real world luxuries of the elite. Jewelry, books, ornate vessels, and instruments are strewn across a table. The globe is decorated with cherubic babies and animals, and a skull is tucked behind the large, open book.

"Vanitas" derives from Latin words for vanity and emptiness. Depictions of wealth in disarray were meant to symbolize this emptiness and encourage piety.

Metropolitan Museum of Art Object Description


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