Highlights

Karel Dujardin (1626-78), Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles. Allegory on the Transitoriness and the Brevity of Life, 1663

Karel Dujardin, Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles. Allegory on the Transitoriness and the Brevity of Life, 1663.

Karel Dujardin, Boy Blowing Soap Bubbles. Allegory on the Transitoriness and the Brevity of Life, 1663. 116x96,5 cm.
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The boy has just lowered his pipe and looks with satisfaction at the bubbles he has sent flying.

One hand holds the soap dish, a scallop shell which still holds a few trembling bubbles. The boy is balanced on a giant soap bubble, surfing the waves on an equally giant shell.

An allegory

This vessel constitutes a surreal element within what is otherwise a realistic depiction, proclaiming the motif to be an allegory.

The transience og happiness and the brevity of human life

The motif is a "memento mori", a reminder of the transience of happiness and the brevity of human life. The work combines two well-known tropes from the 17th century: Fortuna, the goddess of good fortune, rolling on the waves on a ball, and the  "Homo Bulla (est)" ("Man is a bubble") concept, which is often portrayed as a child blowing soap bubbles.


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Updated: 8.apr.2014
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