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Allegory of Vanitas

around 1634, Artist: Antonio de Pereda y Salgado



Allegory of Vanitas

A winged genius embodies “Vanitas”, the reminder of the transience of all things mortal. Objects are arrayed before him in Baroque profusion as if in a still life, which allude to time rapidly draining away, the futility of power and the fleeting nature of life’s joys. The table surface bears the inscription “nil omne” (all is trivial). It may be assumed from such references to the House of Habsburg as the small portrait of Charles V in the genius’ left hand that the picture was commissioned by the court.

Location: Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Kabinett 10

Object data

Object Name





around 1634


Antonio de Pereda y Salgado (1611 Valladolid - 1678 Madrid) - GND




oben beschnitten: top cut: 139,5 cm × 174 cm, 36 kg
Framed: 167,6 cm × 205,3 cm × 7,5 cm


Auf dem Tisch neben dem Stundenglas: NIL OMNE, der Genius hält einen Porträtkameo Kaiser Karls V. in der Hand

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 771


1647 Coll. A. Enríquez de Cabrera; 1691 Coll. J. G. Enríquez de Cabrera; 1st decade 18th century: Emperor Charles VI (?); 1733 documented in the gallery;


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