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Go FigureEnergies, Forms, and Institutions in the Early Modern World$
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Judith H. Anderson and Joan Pong Linton

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823233496

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823233496.001.0001

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Caterpillage: Death and Truthiness in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting

Caterpillage: Death and Truthiness in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting

Chapter:
(p.91) Caterpillage: Death and Truthiness in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting
Source:
Go Figure
Author(s):

Judith H. Anderson

Joan Pong Linton

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823233496.003.0006

Ever since its emergence at the turn of the seventeenth century, the aesthetic body of Dutch still life painting has been hamstrung by iconography. Viewed through the magnific lens of Britannica Online, iconography is “the science of identification, description, classification, and interpretation of symbols, themes, and subject matter in the visual arts. The term can also refer to the artist's use of this imagery in a particular work.” In iconographical discourse, the text most frequently inscribed in or on still life painting is said to be the vanitas. This definition may be shopworn but it is accurate as far as it goes. Vanitas embraces both senses of the term “vainness”: futility and conceit.

Keywords:   still life painting, Dutch, iconography, imagery, vanitas, vainness, futility, conceit

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