Portrait of a young man with a skull  1628

by Frans Hals

This painting is not a portrait. The skull held by the boy is a reminder of the transience of life and the certainty of death. Such a subject is known as a 'Vanitas' (Latin for vanity), a name derived from a verse in the Old Testament (Ecclesiastes 12: 8), 'Vanity of vanities, saith the preacher, all is vanity.' [url=http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/frans-hals-y...
92.2 x 80.8 cm
Oil on canvas
This photographic reproduction is in the public domain (Wikimedia Commons)