noun. / ˈvanəˌtäs /
1). Vanitas is a genre of painting that speaks to the transience of life and the certainty of death. Vanitas are usually still-life paintings that contain skulls and other symbols of mortality. They visualize the expression “Momento Mori” or “Remember Death.” Vanitas was a common genre in Northern Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries, though many contemporary artists have adapted it to the present day.