- a type of still-life painting that flourished in the Netherlands from about 1620 to 1650, conveying a religious message and characterized by objects symbolic of mortality and the meaninglessness of worldly pleasures.
Origin of vanitas
1905–10; Latin: literally, vanity
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for vanitas
Or, is it about a woman who wears her life away in the farce of 'Vanitas Vanitatum?'Discourses of Keidansky
Bernard G. Richards
His cry of vanitas vanitatum is itself only a harmless vanity.George Bernard Shaw
Gilbert K. Chesterton
Is it possible then that thy name is also vanitas vanitatum, like the other things of this world?From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan
Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky
There is Vanitas over the way;—he once wore just such pigmy affairs.
Was he muttering to himself the usual consolation of the ‘have-beens’—vanitas vanitatum?Tracks of a Rolling Stone
Henry J. Coke