Friday, April 19, 2013

Northern European Renaissance (pt. 14)

During this time we also see more expertise in the area of optical illusion.  This totally random painting by Hans Holbein (the Younger), called The Ambassadors, features such an illusion.
Okay, here's what you got to do: turn your computer monitor to the left, so that you're looking at it sideways from the far right end.  Now, look at the bottom of the painting from that side view.  (Oooh!  Creepy, isn't it!)  So, by their attire and by objects placed on the table between them, we surmise that these are two wealthy, educated men of considerable knowledge and talent.  But the hidden message is...they, too, will die.  (This kind of theme will come back in just a little bit).
Hans Holbein also painted this portrait of Edward the VI as a Child.
It was a New Year's gift in 1539 to King Henry VIII (Edward was the king's 14-month old son and heir).  The child looks very dignified, doesn't he?  He's ready to rule.  Actually, he was crowned king at the age of nine, and he died of illness at age fifteen.  The text below him is a Latin verse commending virtue.  Can anybody read it?

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