Chapter

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

Judith H. Anderson and Joan Pong Linton

in Go Figure

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780823233496
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823241224 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823233496.003.0006
Caterpillage: Death and Truthiness in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Still Life Painting

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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

Chapter.  8097 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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