Vanitas is a type of symbolic still life which was commonly executed by Northern European painters in Flanders and the Netherlands in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. This sketch features objects from my studio (minus the onion and lime – those are from the fridge).
The term “vanitas” refers to the arts, learning and time and the impermanence of life. Common vanitas symbols include skulls, rotten fruit, smoke, watches, and hourglasses and musical instruments. In other words, cool stuff to draw.
Wikipedia has more on the topic.