Antonio de Pereda, “Allegory of Vanity,” c. 1632 – 1636, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Artist : Antonio de Pereda (1611–1678)
Title : Allegory of Vanity
Object type : Painting
Date : (1632 – 1636)
Dimensions : Height: 1,395 mm (54.92 in). Width: 1,740 mm (68.5 in).
Current location : Kunsthistorisches Museum
Perad’s still-life and portrait painting depicts several representations of the passage of time, including a clock, an hourglass, old photographs, a blown out candle, skulls and a globe – a nod to the very literal turning of the world. The skulls are a reminder of our temporary existence in this physical world. Personally, I don’t see it as negative or depressing, rather it invokes a mindfulness of my own mortality and the importance of living in the moment. Its is a representation of transformation, change and death. The clock and the hourglass are the various timekeeping devices literally depicting its passage. Measurement devices like the clock, have evolved the way we see time. The old photographs psychologically take us back in time. It seizes that moment in a frame forever. The winged goddess sits surrounded by the spoils of colonization.