11010 VANITAS, HALF SKELETON HALF LADY. SIGNED AND DATED A. SADELER 1751 South German. Eighteenth Century. Measurements: Framed: Height: 23 3/8″ (59.3 cm); Width: 20 1/2″ (52 cm). Sight: Height: 17 1/2″ (44.5 cm); Width: 16 1/2″ (41.9 cm).
Oil on canvas.
‘A. Sadeler’ was a painter active in the eighteenth century and a few works by him are known;including Saint Sebastian executed in 1738 for the Church of Lindenfels.
‘Vanitas’ subjects were particularly popular in seventeenth century Europe where skulls and skeletons appear alongside other subject matter to remind the viewer of the transience of life. Here the young lady is depicted in all her finery within a lavish interior and her (true) left side displays her pearl and fine costume (symbolizing the frivolity of wordily pleasures) in contrast to her skeletal right side. The painting within the painting of wilted flowers on the left side is a witty play on the idea of ‘immortalizing mortality’.