Part of my practice is to redesign my vanitas altar according to seasonal themes. Marking the 2021 Spring Equinox, I’ve replaced the skull’s Autumnal caplet of leaves with a caplet of dried flowers and added a peacock feather, which was both an element of some vanitas paintings of the 1700s and, in Western superstition, a symbol of death and misfortune. Personally, I think they’re very beautiful. I collected this specimen several years ago, during a visit to an Amish show-farm in Indiana.
I’m also planning to add a living element to the altar in the form of a flowering vine as the season warms up.