I recently made a start on the designs for our next collection, i don’t want to say too much about the overall concept yet but one of the images from the collection is influenced by an artistic theme kn0wn as ‘Vanitas’.

Vanitas themed paintings are in essence a form of ‘memento mori’. A reminder that your stay on Earth is finite and so your time should be used well.

We explored the theme of memento mori with our ‘Come to Dust’ cushions. I am in fact, somewhat obsessed with it so i daresay i will be working around this theme until i myself shuffle off this mortal coil.

Vanitas paintings are fairly specific in their meaning. The intent of them is to remind the owner that the pursuit of wordly goods and fun is NOT what it is all about.

They usually depict musical instruments, bountiful food, jewellery, flowers and above all:

S K U L L S!!!!

I found some really great examples while doing research.

Adriaen van Utrecht - skull - vanitas

Play ye not the music – lest ye a Skull will be.

Harmen Steenwyck

And don’t forget – the hour glass is ticking! …like on Countdown!


Another hour glass! will you heed not my warning!

Edwaert Collier

I like this next one a lot. It’s not as well executed as the others but it really rams the point home.


austrian vanitas, 18th century

And stay away from Bubbles!..for they be the work of Beelzebub(ble)!

On a serious note: Notice how you can see the artist reflected in the candlestick. Love this one.


Bubbles were a massive distraction for the wealthy in the 16th and 17th century. They could not get enough of them.
they must have gone crazy when they saw the Hula Hoop.

Nicolaes van Verendael-skull-vanitas

Now put the internet down and go and enjoy your life before it’s too late.

(lay of f the bubbles though)