18th-Century Vanitas Still Life With Mouse

18th-Century Vanitas Still Life With Mouse

This enchanting 18th-century vanitas depicts an arrangement of fruit including grapes, peach, apple and berries. There’s also a mouse nibbling away at some bread.

Vanitas still lifes convey a sense of life’s mortality and the worthlessness of material pleasures. They often include direct references to decay, such as skulls and rotting fruit, but may also include books, wine and other ephemera. The term itself originates from the Book of Ecclesiastes in the Bible: ‘Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’

Housed within a later frame.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 24” x 19” / 61cm x 49cm
Year of creation: c. 1770
Condition: Minor paint loss and abrasions. Canvas relined. Fine craquelure. Frame with some light wear.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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