Subjects drawn from the Bible. Mythology, and ancient history, likewise, were often chosen for their normalizing messages or for establishing parallels between the Dutch experience and great historical, literary, and political events of the past. Still life incorporates such symbols of morality as a skull or a burnt out candle as a ‘memento mort’, the reminder of death which is also an invitation to enjoy the pleasures of elite. There is however, a lot more than technique to these works.
Perhaps the easiest tarring point to this part of the discussion is provided by Gassing’s use of taxidermist objects which speak to concepts of death, timelessness, and a desire to reconstruct or represent life. In this way, the work falls within the genre foments Mari, which comes from the Latin term meaning “remember you will and broadly encompasses art making that reminds the viewer of their mortality. Also falling Within this genre, and an influence on Gaining are 17th century Dutch vanities.
Much like the work of the artist, these paintings represent the Anita Of material possessions, and the impermanence Of life. There are a myriad of symbols within these old master paintings that point to such ideas, few of which require a degree in rocket science to decode. Skull death, wine passing pleasure, big goblets = immoderate wealth. Similarly it is unlikely that Gaining intends the viewer to ponder the symbolism within her paintings indefinitely. Most of it is rather straight forward, and speaks to similar ideas, albeit with a slightly less didactic tone. o contemporary viewers. The Dutch, faith their ingrained Calvinist beliefs, veer Subjects drawn from the Bible, mythology. And ancient history, likewise, were often chosen for their normalizing messages or for establishing parallels bet. ‘en a ‘memento moor’, the reminder of death which is also an invitation to enjoy the pleasures tot elite.