21 May-25 Sept 2011. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, the most important private museum in Rome, hosts Vanitas, an exhibition on the theme of the futility of earthly things. It follows the development of vanity and futility in European culture from its Christian origins to its presence in allegorical paintings and everyday objects such as a collection of 18th-century clocks crowned by the image of Time armed with a sickle to recall the fleeting nature of earthly time.
Throughout the centuries the Doria Pamphilj family commissioned many paintings on this theme by such artists as Caravaggio, Lorenzo Lotto, Jusepe de Ribera, Domenico Fetti, Guercino, Andrea Sacchi, and Mattia Preti, which now form part of the Dorja Pamphilj collection. On display are also sculptures, decorative objects, books and musical compositions, which present a modern and interdisciplinary reflection on this theme in various historical and cultural contexts.
The first section focuses on still life paintings, the second on religious objects, the third on portraiture and the final section is dedicated to Cardinal Benedetto Pamphilj, patron of the arts and a poet who wrote the famous oratorio Il Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno set to music by Georg Friedrich H