"Vanitas vanitatum"

Painted by Brother Jens Rusch

This is the first image of my latest Oil-Painting named "Vanitas vanitatum". Original Size ca 80 x 110 Oil on canvas.

Some words about the tradition of Vanitas-Paintings or "Memento mori" :

Vanitas themes were common in medieval funerary art, with most surviving examples in sculpture. By the 15th century these could be extremely morbid and explicit, reflecting an increased obsession with death and decay also seen in the Ars moriendi, Danse Macabre, and the overlapping motif of the Memento mori. From the Renaissance such motifs gradually became more indirect, and as the still-life genre became popular, found a home there. Paintings executed in the vanitas style were meant to remind viewers of the transience of life, the futility of pleasure, and the certainty of death. They also provided a moral justification for many paintings of attractive objects. Common vanitas symbols include skulls, which are a reminder of the certainty of death; smoke, watches, and hourglasses, which symbolize the brevity of life; and musical instruments, which symbolize brevity and the ephemeral nature of life.Thereis debate among art historians as to how much, and how seriously, the vanitas theme is implied in still-life paintings explicit masonical imagery such as a skull, square and compass. As in much moralistic genre painting, the enjoyment evoked by the sensuous depiction of the subject is in a certain conflict with the moralistic message.

How the Painting was Made

The first sketch was drawn.

The painting was then sketched on canvas.

Then the background was added.

Then the structures were added.

Then the background was painted.

Then the middle tones were painted.

Brother Jens at work!

Brother Jens making it perfect!

And the final studio scene!





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