Expression: 'Captures the essence of our times'

Hello everybody

Further to my conversation with Mr. Micawber regarding the use of essence, could you please tell me:

1- [color=brown]Her art captures the essence of our times.

If the sentence given above means:

Her art is one of the most important features of our era. Or she is a very eminent artist of our time.


Hi Tom,

Capture the essence of our times could be expressed as encapsulate/convey the spirit of our times. To my generation for example the picture of a ration book immediately creates in my mind the period immediately after the second world war when almost everything in Britain had to be exchanged for tokens in a ration book. It is to me if you like a symbol of that time and in that sense ‘captures the essence …’