Memento Mori. Skull next to a Vase of Flowers

Heem, Jan Davidsz. de (1606-1684) | Painter


In his Antwerp studio, the Dutch painter De Heem took the art of the still life to new heights in the mid-17th century. He painted well-balanced, skilfully coloured, magnificent floral bouquets, in which he depicted plants and small animals in illusionistic detail. The wide-open blossoms, with the petals and leaves showing signs of insect damage, as well as the skull and the note bearing the words “Memento Mori”, are all references to the transience of earthly life.

Material & Technique
Oil on canvas
Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister
c. 1655/60
Inventory number
Gal.-Nr. 1265