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Meeting: “The Ambassadors” – the Holbein Code?

Meeting: “The Ambassadors” – the Holbein Code?
Start date 2014-05-15
Start time 18:00

”The Ambassadors” is a painting by Hans Holbein the Younger. A double portrait, the painting depicts two ambassadors to the court of Henry VIII. The men are wealthy and well-educated, which is highlighted by scientific objects lying next to them: astronomical devices, books, and musical instruments. Apart from pointing to the social status of the figures in the portrait, these objects, however, seem to carry some other meanings, too. They have been interpreted in several ways, each interpretation however sees the key to solving this riddle in some disturbing details, including the silver crucifix in the left hand corner that emerges from behind the curtain (or maybe it is covered by the curtain) and the distorted human skull placed in the bottom centre of the composition, which is rendered in anamorphic perspective and can only be seen if the viewer approaches the painting from the side.

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