Press Release: Renowned Spanish Artist ARYZ Presents New Installation
at the National Pantheon in Lisbon


On Thursday 14 March at 6:00 PM, an installation by the internationally renowned Spanish artist ARYZ (Octavi Arrizabalaga) will be unveiled at the National Pantheon in Lisbon. Titled VANITAS, this installation is part of the Underdogs Public Art Programme and was specifically conceived for the National Pantheon, integrating a recent body of work in which the artist creates artworks for spaces of this nature. The intervention will be on show until June 23, 2024. 

This intervention explores themes of life and death, directly alluding to the Vanitas painting tradition of the 16th and 17th centuries, engaging in a dialogue with an anonymous author’s painting from the collection of the National Museum of Ancient Art, which is also present in the Pantheon. This event is open to the public, and starting from 15 March, viewing the installation will be subject to the admission fee of the National Pantheon, except for residents in Portugal, who can visit the monument for free on Sundays and holidays. 


VANITAS, the new installation by visual artist Aryz, explores the symbolism of the artistic tradition of the same name in a dialogue with the National Pantheon. Vanitas is a tradition that originated in the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th centuries, manifested in works of art that contemplate the transience of life and the inevitability of death. The essence of these works lies in the representation of mundane objects (books, withered flowers, extinguished candles, and decomposing fruits) juxtaposed with symbols of mortality, such as skulls and hourglasses. Through this visual language, artists sought to convey the fleeting nature of earthly existence and the futility of the pursuit of tangible or material goods. At the center of this reflection on mortality, there also emerges an assessment of the very essence of life. With this installation, Aryz revives the tradition of Vanitas and, drawing parallels, invites the viewer to contemplate how this tradition interacts with the symbolism of the National Pantheon. Just as Vanitas prompts a confrontation with the transience of human existence, the National Pantheon serves as a repository of collective memory and identity, a testament to the lasting legacy of heroes and illustrious figures of a nation. The diptych presented by the artist urges us to reflect on our mortality as individuals, while the Pantheon invites us to consider the perpetual legacy of those who shaped a collective destiny