All is Vanity Skull Illusion Postcard

All is Vanity Skull Illusion Postcard

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The 'All is Vanity' illusion by Charles Allen Gilbert features a woman sitting behind a vanity mirror looking at her image, look closely and you will see a human skull. After reading the biblical verse, "Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity,”, Gilbert decided to create this illusion. The skull in the picture reminded people that no one lives forever ('Memento Mori').

    Measures approximately 3.5" x 5.5".

    Skull Symbolism

    It is believed that the English word "skull" comes from the Old Norse word "skulle". Cranium is a Latin word which comes from the Greek root κρανίον (kranion). There are 22 bones in the human skull (teeth are not part of this), and they are divided into the cranium (8 bones) and face (14 bones). You think of the skull as a solid structure, but it contains lots of small holes called foramina, these allow the passage of nerves and blood vessels throughout the face.

    Many people are fascinated with skull imagery and symbolism. Throughout the years, skulls have been used as warnings (i.e poison/toxicity), art (e.g Vanitas or 'Memento Mori'/'Remember You Must Die' allegories), literature (e.g Shakespeare's 'Hamlet'), cultural celebrations (e.g the Mexican holiday, Day of the Dead) and War (Nazi SS insignia). Today, skulls continue to be used heavily in tattoo culture, fashion and in cutesy cartoons.

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