A. Waichulis: Lamoraal Vanitas WIP images

I am very proud to present my latest work, “Lamoraal Vanitas.” (14x11", Oil) This work was an extremely special project in that it was painstakingly designed in collaboration with an esteemed colleague to celebrate the life of Count Lamoraal, Graaf van Egmond, Egmond also spelled Egmont, (1522 – 1568) and the region of Egmond. The Count was a general and statesman in the Spanish Netherlands just before the start of the Eighty Years’ War, whose execution helped spark the national uprising that eventually led to the independence of the Netherlands. He was a leader in the early opposition to the policies of Philip II of Spain in the Netherlands. Although Egmond did not favor the overthrow of Spanish sovereignty, he became one of the first and most illustrious victims of the Duke of Alba’s repressive regime (1567–73).

Each subject that populates this composition was chosen with great care. From the detailed skull (which is intended to belong to the Count himself) to the tiny spider hidden between the book and pitcher) bearing a white cross on its back symbolizing the Spanish king, a fanatic Catholic, who “lured” the Count into his web and killed him.

On June 4th, 1568 (a year featured on the book to the right), Count Egmont was condemned to death and lodged that night in the Maison du Roi. On June 5th, both he and the Count of Horn were beheaded in the Grand Place in Brussels, Egmont’s uncomplaining dignity on the occasion being widely noted. Their deaths led to public protests throughout the Netherlands and contributed to the resistance against the Spaniards. The Count of now lies buried in a crypt in Zottegem, a Belgian city in which Egmont is remembered by his two statues, his museum, and his castle. His castle in Egmond Aan den Hoef (shown in the illustration in the top left of the piece) was destroyed in 1573, and a statue in his memory is erected on the site of the ruins.

During 1809 and 1810, Beethoven composed both the Egmont Overture and the incidental music to Goethe’s play, Egmont, depicting the life of Lamoraal. (The Overture’s sheet music sits below the skull in the composition.) In a letter to Goethe, Beethoven’s friend Bettina von Brentano explained the composer’s fascination with Egmont, writing that he had told her, “Goethe’s poems exert a great power over me not only by virtue of their content but also their rhythm; I am put in the right mood and stimulated to compose by this language, which builds itself into a higher order as if through spiritual agencies, and bears within itself the secret of harmony.” Our composition also includes an excerpt of Lorenzo de Medici’s vanitas-appropriate “Song of Bacchus.” The shown stanza translates into, “What beauty lies in youth–yet ever so fleeting! Let him who wants to, be happy. Of tomorrow there is no certainty.”

(One more thing I’ll share for now is how we’ve tied a piece of American history to this homage to Dutch history. It’s the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (located under the Egmont Overture.) Even though the document was penned many, many years after the Dutch war, the document was written on a piece of paper that came from a mill which once stood a mere few hundred yards from the castle ruins in Egmond.)

“Lamoraal Vanitas”, 14x11", Oil

“Lamoraal Vanitas” (DETAIL), 14x11", Oil



Incredible attention to details. My eyes and hands resist this kind of minutiae if I do it for too long. I applaud you for these amazing challenges to your own artistic expression! I am glad to know you and to be participant with these methods. You are such an inspiration for me.:heart::blush:


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Tony, I love the wips and seeing this in person was mind blowing! For all those that say you are photorealistic and are tight… they haven’t a clue! You are not only an imaginative artist but your softness, edge handling, and unfinished areas that leave the audience completing it with their eyes is magnificent. To me, you are a finished painter of edgy but classical, simultaneously. I would say you hit this far out of the stadium from all you told us on Skype! You have inspired me in my painting this week and I hear all your words! Cant wait to see the next piece you conquer


All I can say is WOW, nice work.

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Incredible work Anthony…the attention to detail is out of this world! And it is so inspiring to see the work in progress…wish to see one of your works in person someday…I think I would briefly stop breathing in awe :slight_smile: a big well done :slight_smile:


ah jeez. this is all over fantastic. but my favourite thing is that haunting figure in the reflection on the jug. outstanding work.


Thanks all! Thrilled to know that you enjoy it! :smiley: