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“The language of the Vanities was first conceived in mid-17th century Holland against a backdrop of economic and social turmoil. In 1636, at the peak of the tulip mania Dutch and European merchants traded rare tulip bulbs for astronomical prices culminating in the first European-wide speculative bubble, which when it collapsed on 3 February 1637, created political chaos across Northern Europe. Into this economic void, Vanitas painting was born, a symbolic reminder of the transience of earthly pleasures and the permanence of death.” (Joe La place and Mark Sanders, Vanitas: The Transience of...
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