Project 52, Week 7: Vanitas #1

"Breath upon breath! Everything is mere vapor!"

What strikes me about religious translations is the inaccuracies of translations. The original idea of the Vanitas is that "vanity of vanities; all is vanity". I think the modern person is capable of understanding that meaning. However, I introduce to you the quote at the beginning. Much different, no?

In dutch history, the middle class gained a lot of ground owing to certain free market principles taking hold after the spanish occupation. (I'm only an amateur to it's history, so any body is free to offer their informed versions.)

This lead to an artistic community with free reign. No more church rule. They now have to reflect what the market needed. And that, in shorthand, meant artists now had to compete with the market. They now made art via demand, rather than consignment. 

Thus, the still life was born. 

Still life in the early ages, still had religious symbolisms. The middle class didn't want what they saw in Church, they wanted their own thing. Albeit, religious in nature. 

Thus, the still life got it's resurgence. 

The artists of the time had a chance to paint their feelings. They had an opportunity to paint their politics. 

The still life therefore got a new life. This time in symbols. 

To start my own project, I started a Vanitas. With all the classic symbols and none of my opinion unless you dig deep ;) 

During the Dutch Golden era, the middle class had a voice. They chose to reflect their religion and political views. Religiously, they veered from their forced Spanish Catholic views. These views became known as vanities. 

There are many vanitis symbols that came from this era which I used in this simplistic still life. 

The skull is a very notable symbol. It symbolizes death and mortality. Depending on it's corresponding symbol, it can mean the opposite, like life and growth in such as a vine.  Here I use a dried rose. Does it mean decay? Or, does it mean life to come? 

I started this still life with a very well known still life symbol, the bread. This often meant the body of Christ. How do you think I meant it here? 

Every piece has it's place. Every piece has it's meaning. What does it mean to you? I used the color blue to act as a divider between two philosophies. What do you think?

I wonder? 

Please leave your comments. I'm not revealing my meaning until I hear your's. ;) 

In a modern stand point, this type of photo demand conversations. 

I hope you join me in it. There will be many more!