Vanitas Still Life

1668, Artist: Maria van Oosterwijck



Vanitas Still Life

The transitoriness of earthly things is illustrated with symbolic and literary references. A book lying next to the skull and hourglass is inscribed: “calculation – we live unto death and die unto life”, a reference to human life in the balance in the face of death and hope for eternal life. Next to it is a bottle, which reflects the artist’s entire studio including his self-portrait. Maria van Oosterwijck was a student of J. Davidsz. de Heem and worked for well-known rulers throughout Europe.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Saal XII

Object data

Object Name







Maria van Oosterwijck (1630 Nootdorp - 1693 Uitdam) - GND




73 cm × 88,5 cm
Framed: 97,2 cm × 112,8 cm × 9 cm


Inscribed on the edge of the table at lower right: Maria van Oosterwyck. 1668

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 5714


1730 documented in the gallery; Coll. Ambras; between 1806-1817 from Ambras to Vienna;

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