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A Vanitas Still Life with a Flag, Candlestick, Musical Instruments, Books, Writing Paraphernalia, Globes and Hourglass

A work made of oil on canvas.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on canvas.




Edwaert Collier (Dutch, 1642–1708)

About this artwork

Edwaert Collier was well known in his own time for his still lifes, which replicated in intricate detail actual maps and globes. Here, he reproduced a portion of Frederik de Wit’s 1660 map of the Americas and Jodocus Hondius’s terrestrial globe with a view of Mexico, both of which allude to the Dutch Republic’s international trade networks and the ambition to possess the world through cartographic knowledge. The extinguished candle and hourglass, in contrast, reference the fleeting nature of time. Through such highly illusionistic renderings of the symbols of worldly pursuits, Collier evoked the tension between humanity’s lasting contributions to the fields of art and science and the brevity of an individual life.


On View, Gallery 212


Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Edwaert Collier


A Vanitas Still Life with a Flag, Candlestick, Musical Instruments, Books, Writing Paraphernalia, Globes and Hourglass


Holland (Object made in)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on canvas


Signed and dated: Eduwaert / Collier / 1662


98 × 129.7 cm (38 1/2 × 51 in.); Framed: 122 × 152.4 cm (48 × 60 in.)

Credit Line

Through prior bequest of Joseph Winterbotham; Rhoades Foundation and Julius Lewis Acquisition Endowment Fund; European Painting Discretionary Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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