Spring Equinox Vanitas Altar

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.

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