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Definition of Vanitas

Vanitas Definition from Arts & Humanities Dictionaries & Glossaries
JM Latin-English Dictionary
N F
emptiness| untruthfulness; futility| foolishness| empty pride
Art Glossary
From the Latin for "'vanity."' These are still-life paintings--often featuring a skull--that try to remind the viewer of how temporary human life really is. In the 17th Century, these paintings were very popular in Holland.
Vanitas Definition from Encyclopedia Dictionaries & Glossaries
English Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia
Vanitas is a category of symbolic works of art especially associated with 16th and 17th century still-life painting in Flanders and the Netherlands. The Latin noun vanitas -atis means "emptiness" and thus refers in this context to the traditional Christian view of earthly life and the worthless nature of all earthly goods and pursuits. The word vanitas derives its prominence in Christian philosophy from its appearance in the book of Book of Ecclesiastes, and . The Vulgate Bible renders the verse as Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas, translated in the King James Version of the Bible as "Vanity of vanities, all is vanity. The English word "Vanity" is thus used here in its older (especially pre-14th century) sense of "futility".

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