Tuesday, June 15, 2010

ABC Wednesday

The letter this week is the veritable V

V is for Vanity

One of the Seven Deadly Sins.

To paraphrase Wikipedia, Vanity is the conviction that one's own attractiveness to others exceeds reality.

This was not always the meaning of Vanity, - at one time before the 14th century it merely meant futility, and perhaps in the end that is what self idolatry is all about.

"The stories of Lucifer, Narcissus, and others attend to a pernicious aspect of vanity" - resulting in one becoming divorced from the graces of God(s).

Two famous painting depict the peculiar self-pride that is vanity, one by Frank Cadogan Cowper and the other by Titian.

Cowper

Titian

And poor Narcissus "As divine punishment he fell in love with his own reflection in a pool, not realizing it was merely an image, and he wasted away to death, not being able to leave the beauty of his own reflection."


But perhaps the picture that most morbidly depicts the reality of Vanity  is that of C. Allan Gilbert.

His picture is an optical illusion in which what appears to be a large grinning skull reveals itself to be a young woman gazing at her reflection in the mirror, reminding us that the passage of years will rob one of shallow vainglory.


An unsettling thought, but one that speaks to the virtues of humility and its comfort in old age.....

I am sure there are more cheerful aspects for the letter V at ABC Wednesday and you can visit them by clicking Here.

22 comments:

Hood Photo Blog said...

Good post for 'V'! Have a great rest of the week!

Hood Photo Blog

SparkleFarkle said...

Scrimp here, scrimp there. Just once, I'd like to go out the door looking expensey. LOL! I guess vanity in moderation is the key. Um, I'm guessing now, maybe, I'm getting personal hygiene and vanity mixed up. (<-- Tee-hee on me!) And, if that's the case, heavy on the vanity. LOLouder!

Sylvia K said...

Great post for the V day! Enjoy the day!

Sylvia

mrsnesbitt said...

I love the integrity of this post - so true!

Leslie: said...

That last piece of art is really quite creepy! Very effective post on the subject today. Really enjoyed reading it. :D

Manang Kim said...

Oh my goodness in love with his own reflection that is terrible! I love your post very interesting and makes me think if I am living in vanity ^_^ Happy Wednesday!


ABC Wednesday~V

photowannabe said...

Well done. I thought your choices for V are wonderful. Pictures perfect.

Penny said...

Very interesting collection of paintings, especially the last one.

Tumblewords: said...

Good post! I always associate vanity with the cabinet that holds the sink in the powder room. :)

Stan Ski said...

Gret V post!

Changnoi said...

Love the pics, specially the last one.

Jay said...

EXcellent post! I can't say I like the optical illusion, but it is very clever!

On behalf of the team, thanks for taking part in ABC Wednesday this week! :)

Stan Ski said...

Sorry about the brevity of my previous comment (and the spelling mistake).
I have taken a quick tour of your previous posts and was very impressed by your stunning photography.
Thank you for your visits and the kind comments you left.
I will be back for more.

Mar said...

What an interesting post for V!! love those vain paintings :)

v is for vermilion...

Jingle said...

awesome!

Jingle said...

http://jingleyanqiu.wordpress.com/2010/06/16/v-is-4-victims-secrets-r-revealed-under-hidden-video-camera/

here is mine!
thank you in advance for reading!

Reader Wil said...

This is such a great post! Vanity is destructive. People who are so convinced of their own value and attractiveness hurt the feelings of those around them. They are not interested in others. They have no friends because they are no friends themselves.Excellent post! Thanks for your visit!

Roger Owen Green said...

I suppose that's where the phrase "All is vanity" came from. the Cowper woman reminds me of Cate Blanchette a little. I always love the Narcissus story; great post.

ROG, ABC Wednesday team

Roger Owen Green said...

oh, thx for shutting off wv - couldn't see it before, so couldn't post

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Great choice for V, especially the pictures, the last one particularly illustrates the point so well. And yes, there are many comforts to be found in old age, it is not all bad news! A x

Anna said...

What an amazing post. Sometimes we have to serious.
Well-chosen V-word, 'Vanity'. It is a theme used throughout art history and even literature. (For example, Oscar Wild's The portrait of Dorian Grey)
You have also chosen beautiful paintings as examples. The last one with the double-image of the young woman and the skull is mind-boggling and the perfect choice for your theme. Very well done!
Excellent, in every respect.
Best wishes,
Anna
Anna's V-word

Beverley Baird said...

Quite an interesting post!
Loved the artwork!