Functional, Semantic and Linguistic Features of Latin Text on Vanitas Works of Fine Art




Vanitas genre, Latin inscriptions, semantic and functional features, linguistic features, sources of borrowing


The article presents the results of a study of Latin inscriptions on paintings and engravings of the Vanitas genre. The sources of borrowing citations, their functional-semantic and linguistic load are analysed. The research proves that texts in Latin are an integral part of paintings and engravings of the Vanitas genre, and their use is conditioned by the specifics of the origin and historical development of the genre. The analysis of Latin inscriptions helps form a generalised vision and perception of the world's vanity, the transience of life, and the inevitability of death, which is laid down by artists in their works. The contemplation of such works is designed to inspire viewers with the idea that everything that surrounds and accompanies a person in this life is vanity. Also, there is a significant difference between the death of a person who lives righteously and the death of a sinner. The artists used Latin quotes from various sources to enhance their influence on the audience (the quotes from the Bible and works of ancient authors). Quotes from the works of contemporaries are used less frequently. Artists were relatively free with the quoted phrases: they shortened, supplemented, and combined expressions.


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Author Biographies

Olesia LAZER-PANKIV, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

(PhD in Philology) is Associate Professor of the Department of General Linguistics, Classical Philology and Neohellenistics, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. Areas of interest: methodology of teaching classical languages, ancient Greek and Latin paremiology, ancient culture. O. Lazer-Pankiv is the author of 13 works on methodology and 36 scientific articles. Recent publications: “Latin Language and Medical Terminology: A Practice and Reference Book for Students”; “Ancient Greek in Tables: Phonetics. Morphology”; “Use of the Phraseology for the Ancient Greek Language Communicative Competence Formation”; “ΠΑΡΟΙΜΙΑΙ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΑΙ: Ancient Greek Proverbs and Sayings”.

Nataliia KOROLOVA, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv

(PhD in Philology) is Associate Professor of the Department of General Linguistics, Classical Philology and Neohellenistics, Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. Areas of scholarly interests: methodology of teaching classical languages, ancient culture, Medieval Latin, new and contemporary Latin. N. Korolova is the author of 15 works on methodology and 40 scientific articles. Recent publications: “Latin in the Multilingual Space of Ukraine in the 15th-18th Centuries: Monograph”; “Viva Latina”; “The Latin Language as a Universal Cultural Code”; “Lexical Eclecticism of Latin Texts on the Territory of Ukraine of the ХV-ХVІІ Centuries”.

Nataliia STEFANOVA, Kyiv National Linguistic University

(PhD, Dr. of Science in Philology) is Professor of Prof. O. M. Morokhovsky Department of English Philology, Translation and Philosophy of Language, Faculty of Germanic Philology at Kyiv National Linguistic University, Ukraine. The areas of interest: сomparative-historical and typological linguistics, cognitive linguistics, linguoculturology, and psycholinguistics. Dr Stefanova is the author of 1 monograph and 34 scientific articles. Recent publications: “Cognitive and Ontological Essence of Axiological Dominants and Principles of Their Taxonomy in Diachronic and Synchronic Review”, “Modern Semantic Structure of Names of Matrix Axioconcepts Benefit/Користь in the English and Ukrainian Languages”.


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How to Cite

LAZER-PANKIV, O., KOROLOVA, N. ., & STEFANOVA, N. . (2021). Functional, Semantic and Linguistic Features of Latin Text on Vanitas Works of Fine Art. WISDOM, 19(3), 228–242.




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