Saturday, February 27, 2021

Day 6

Here's a photo of my setup with a kitchen knife on a cutting board. But of course, I painted from life. The wonderful enormous apple is getting a rotten spot but I turned that to the back!
My daughter came around and remarked that she felt the paring knife was aggressive? She wondered why I would include a knife in a painting since it is a threatening object. This comment shows how much a viewer brings to the work of art. 
We talked about the objects used in European still life paintings from the 16th and 17th century.  Memento mori themes often used skulls or burned out candles to symbolize the shortness of life. Vanitas paintings were popular because they had symbolic meaning as well as a decorative beauty. Sometimes they included dead flowers, animals, and rotten fruit. Vanitas means life is short and all is transient.
Memento mori (Latin for remember that you have to die') is an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death.