the vanity of apples
Have you read about the new apples?
“Non-browning, [Arctic® Apples] look better, taste better, last longer” and are now deregulated by the USDA for restriction free growing in the United States. (!) And while this was the media hype a few weeks ago (non-browning apples! non-browning apples!) all I could think about was Dutch paintings and the word vanitas.
In art, vanitas describes a symbolic style of artistic work implemented often in the still life paintings of 17th century Dutch artists. The meaning of the latin word vanitas (roughly translated), is vanity and refers in part to the transient nature of all earthly goods and pursuits.
Rotting fruit specifically, appears in many Dutch paintings of the 1600s; its intent, to remind viewers of the certainty of death and symbolize the brief nature of life; to instill humility.
What then, of the new apples? A contradiction of art, theory and life.
painting credit: Caravaggio / c. 1599 / oil on canvas / 31 cm × 47 cm