Vanitas Still Life with the Spinario, Pieter Claesz, 1628
Appearances can be deceptive – certainly in painting, which gives only an impression of reality. Here Claesz presents the study materials of an educated painter: books, drawings, armour, musical instruments and a plaster cast of the Spinario, a famous antique sculpture of a boy extracting a thorn from his foot. On the table are a paintbrush and a palette, along with bones and a skull. The message is clear: the world is mere illusion and transience (vanitas).