Seventeenth century, oil on canvas
Jacopo Ligozzi was born in Verona to a family of craftsmen and painters. In 1578 he moved to Florence when summoned there by Grand Duke Francesco I de’Medici. When Giorgio Vasari died (1511-1574), he became a court painter and was elected consul of the Academy of the Arts of Drawing . In this “Vanitas”, which warns us of the precarious nature of
existence, Ligozzi recreates the macabre relic with the same analytical attention we find in the naturalistic illustrations he created during his time in the service of the Medici court. The book and the skull represent the limited nature of man and his efforts to acquire knowledge, whilst the hourglass on the right refers to the passing of time. The quality of the execution of the work is of the highest quality, and its emotive impact is considerable.