Homo bulla (Allegory of Transience) | MSK Gent
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Homo bulla (Allegory of Transience), 1594

  • burin engraving, paper
  • 192 x 149 mm
  • Inv. 2014-MR

Public Domain

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A putto leans against a skull. In his right hand he holds a pipe with which he has blown bubbles, in his left hand a shell; behind him is a vessel from which smoke rises. At the bottom of the depiction are the words "Quis evadet?" ("Who will escape?") and below the depiction four lines of Latin.


Hendrick Goltzius RKD
Brüggen 1558 - Haarlem 1617
workshop / studio

Willem Hessels van Elst
Gorinchem 1542 - Douai 1613

Title Homo bulla (Allegory of Transience)
Date 1594
Period 16th century
Location Haarlem TGN
Medium and support burin engraving AAT
Signatures, inscriptions, and markings printed inscription in the depiction, bottom centre: Quis evadet?
printed inscription in the depiction, at the bottom right: HG./ 1594
inscription outside the depiction, centre below: Flos novus, et verna fragans [...] bullae vanisq. elapsa vaporis.
printed inscription bottom right, outside the depiction: F. Estius
Collection print room
Object type burin engraving AAT
Inventory number 2014-MR
Acquisition credit unknown
Current whereabouts Work currently not on display
Permalink https://mskgent.be/collection/work/data/2014-MR
IIIF Manifest https://imagehub.mskgent.be/iiif/3/11698/manifest.json
Art & Architecture Thesaurus 300055866 allegory (artistic device) AAT
300189808 figures (representations) AAT
Keywords Iconclass 11R5 (personifications of) 'Vanitas', the vanity of human life; Fragilita humana, Fugacita delle grandezze della gloria mondana, Meditatione della morte, Opera vana, Piacere vano, Vana gloria, Vanita (Ripa) Iconclass
11R51 scenes symbolizing 'Vanitas' Iconclass
11R511 (children or putti) blowing bubbles, 'Homo Bulla' ~ scene symbolizing 'Vanitas' Iconclass
11R71 skull as symbol of 'Vanitas' Iconclass
25G41 flowers Iconclass
31A211 (human) skull Iconclass
31F11 death's head, skull (symbol of Death) Iconclass
31F12 bones (symbol of Death) Iconclass
41B162 smoke Iconclass
41C741 pipe ~ tobacco Iconclass
58B3 Immortality, Imperishableness; 'Immortalita' (Ripa) Iconclass
92D1916 cupids: 'amores', 'amoretti', 'putti' Iconclass
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