The Natural History Museum Tilburg has transformed in 2011 the exhibition space of the former Scription into an attractive
museum hall. Now the enormous sperm whale skeleton (15 meters long) is on display for the first time. Inspired by the huge sperm whale skeleton that was newly installed here in Tilburg, combined with the theme of Vanitas.
Vanitas stands for the inevitability of death and the relative nature of earthly possessions. At the opening of this exhibition, two artists from Tilburg made new works in addition to the opening of this new addition of the museum. Van der Loo made paintings for the exhibition, Van Vught sculptures. The latter used the underwater world as a motif. Vanitas is a recurring theme in art.
The word vanitas is Latin and means vanity and emptiness. Imagined, for example, with symbols such as skulls, extinguished candles, wilted flowers, soap bubbles, decayed books, musical instruments, clocks or fallen glasses, the vanity, transience and meaninglessness of the earthly is visualised. ”Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas” is a well-known saying derived from the biblical book of Ecclesiastes: ‘Vanity of vanities, everything is vanity’. The vanitas painting has a Protestant Christian origin. It encourages the viewer to focus on eternal life. Especially in the Netherlands and Flanders this painting theme was used in the 17th century.