Hidden symbols: decoding vanitas paintings


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Mary Kisler, Senior Curator, Mackelvie collection, International Art, Mary Kisler looks at the symbolism of the vanitas (still-life) used by both 17th century painters such as Bourjinon, Collier and Netscher and contemporary New Zealand photographer Fiona Pardington.

Image credits:

Edwaert Collier
A Vanitas Still Life
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Sir George Grey, 1887

J Bourjinon
Still life with fruit and shellfish 1657
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of an anonymous donor, 1954

Caspar Netscher
Girl arranging flowers 1683 
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, gift of Sir George Grey, 1883

Fiona Pardington 
My Mother's Roses, Pomegranates and Silver Platter of Ihumoana, Ripiro Beach 2013
courtesy of the artist and Starkwhite, Auckland



Mackelvie Gallery, mezzanine level and level 2

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