CROE: i figured we could go back in time a bit
and i found one that has more bubbles!
TARBOT: so that’s the skull of Jesus?
is that what I’m seeing?
CROE: there does appear to be a crown of some sort on it
but i don’t see any thorns per se
TARBOT: oooh, the artist is in the reflection of the candlestick.
way to make a cameo
TARBOT: speaking of the real crown — English?
CROE: I’m not sure – the painter is Flemmmish
or Flemish rather
mmm, those Flemish are delicious
so passage of time, crowns and skulls… “everyone dies, even kings”?
CROE: yes, i think the bubbles and flowers speak to the ephemeral nature of life
TARBOT: I was just going to say – yeah, flowers are pretty and = life
CROE: so the crown on the skull – i guess that could be emphasizing that even kings die
and it could also be, like you said, a reference to Jesus
perhaps the contrast in crowns is important – like after you die, what does it matter if a crown is of gold or of straw?
it matters if you’re a grave robber
I don’t think straw goes for much nowadays
though people will buy just about anything on eBay
TARBOT: the globe is interesting
it’s a rather unappealing version of one
CROE: well the painting is from 1650
TARBOT: yeah but it could have shown Europe at the very least
CROE: are we turned toward the atlantic ocean?
TARBOT: “oh, also… sailing kills, too”
CROE: maybe the globe emphasizes the spheres of the bubbles?
and the candlestick
TARBOT: and the candlestick has no light — that’s another death reference, I’d say
CROE: fire will burn down your house
I do really really like the flowers though
they are quite nice
they don’t look real, though
like, gilded with gold
CROE: yeah. they probably died before he could finish painting them
TARBOT: do we have a title for it anywhere?
this painting is depressing
I’m trying to find out more about Hendrick’s life
he didn’t live to be very old
though I guess back then, life expectancies were shorter
probably because they went around moping around about vanitas
CROE: it’s a theme. see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanitas
“The word is Latin, meaning ’emptiness’ and loosely translated corresponds to the meaninglessness of earthly life and the transient nature of vanity.”
TARBOT: “bubbles, which symbolize the brevity of life and suddenness of death”
“brevity, which symbolizes not the way we analyze fine works of art”