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Italian, 'A Dead Soldier', 17th Century

To the left are a skull and bones, symbols of death. The wick of the lamp hanging from the branch has just been extinguished. This work is intended as a 'vanitas', in which the objects serve as a reminder of the brevity of life and the futility of human achievement.

The school and date of the painting are much debated, but it may be a Neapolitan work of the 1630s.


 
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