A Vanitas

A Vanitas

Edward Collier, British, 1640-1710
Active Years: 1669-1707
Oil paint on canvas
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust

Edward Collier 
Dutch, about 1642–1708, active in England 
A Vanitas, 1669
Oil paint on canvas    
Signed and dated at lower right, E. Collier fe[cit] / A[?] 1669
Gift of the Berger Collection Educational Trust, 2020.4

This object is currently on view
image height: 32 1/4 in, 81.915 cm; image width: 45 3/4 in, 116.205 cm; frame height: 43 in, 109.2200 cm; frame width: 58 in, 147.3200 cm; frame depth: 3 1/4 in, 8.255 cm
European and American Art Before 1900
European Painting and Sculpture before 1900

All the objects in this picture refer to the military life of a deceased soldier—a suit of armor, sword, rifle, plumed helmet, box of medals, and a book open to a page showing a type of cannon. The small portrait may be of the soldier himself. The symbolic center of the picture is a pocket watch, an allusion to the passage of time and the brevity of human life. 

Known Provenance
Sotheby’s, New York, June 3, 1988, lot 108; Christie’s, New York, May 23, 1997, lot 61; from which acquired by William M. B. and Bernadette Berger, Denver; Berger Collection Educational Trust; gifted to the Denver Art Museum, 2020. Provenance research is on-going at the Denver Art Museum and we will post information as it becomes available. Please e-mail provenance@denverartmuseum.org, if you have questions, or if you have additional information to share with us.
Exhibition History
  • “Age of Armor” — Denver Art Museum, 5/15/2022 – 9/5/2022

Some images in our online collection are at thumbnail size, in accordance with AAMD guidelines, because they are protected by copyright. The Denver Art Museum respects the rights of artists or their representatives who retain the copyright to their work. Other images represent the best photography available and should be used as reference images only. Please complete the Image Rights Request form if you want to request a high resolution image.