The Dutch painting of 17th and 18th Century is a type of still life painting that consists of inanimate┬áobjects which conveys a meaningful message. ┬áThis type of painting creates a metaphor for┬ámortality as the artist uses┬ácollection of symbolic objects to convey a biblical or christian message that can translate to death, wealth, and life. ┬áFor example, in Rachel Ruysch Painting Fruit and Insects, she did not just captured┬áa┬ánatural scene but also studied them in great detail, both the fruits and insects which she┬ácombined┬átogether to form┬á┬áa beautiful┬ácomposition.┬áIn her painting, she┬ásymbolizes the wheat and the grapes to eucharist. And relates to her father’s work by placing lived insects and animals in her composition.

Hector Rene Membreno-Canales uses the Dutch still life painting technique because he wanted this type of style to convey his experience in the military. I think his work is effective since by placing military objects, food, and a veteran in his photo, he creates a personal feeling, and indicates that war is about survival and hardship. Since he symbolizes the food as his hardship, both the weapons, and the veteran can signify that will fight through his harship in order to live.

One thought on “Vanitas

  1. rmichals

    You have a clear grasp of the Dutch still life paintings. They certainly use everyday objects, foods and flowers in particular, to create a metaphor for mortality. I agree that Membreno-Canales is able to create a metaphor for his experience in Iraq by disrupting our expectations of a certain genre of art. His juxtapositions are jarring like I imagine his experience had to have been.


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