The Sands of Time

Object Details

Title:

The Sands of Time

Artist/Maker:

Thomas Richard Williams (English, 1825 - 1871)

Culture:

English

Date:

1850 to 1852

Medium:

Stereo-daguerreotype

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This daguerreotype stereograph image by Thomas Richard Williams is a still life memento mori composition. An assemblage of a human skull, an hourglass with the sand running out, an extended compass, and a book abandoned mid-read with eyeglasses placed upside down on the page, the image evokes the temporary nature of mortal life and the inevitability of death. The objects also refer to intellectual pursuits and to the inevitable triumph of the soul over the mind.

Exhibitions
Little Pictures (December 7, 1993 to March 6, 1994)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), December 7, 1993 to March 6, 1994
Capturing Time: A Celebration of Photographs (December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), December 1, 1997 to March 1, 1998
In Focus: Still Life (September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), September 7, 2010 to January 23, 2011
In Focus: Daguerreotypes (November 3, 2015 to March 20, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 3, 2015 to March 20, 2016