“Ambassadors”, Hans Golbein the Younger – overview of the painting

“Ambassadors”, Hans Golbein the Younger – overview of the painting
"Ambassadors", Hans Golbein the Younger - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Hans Golbein the Younger
  • Museum: National Gallery (London)
  • Year: 1533

Overview of the painting :

Ambassadors – Hans Golbein the Younger. 1533. Wood, butter. 207×209.5

   A rare picture causes such heated debate and debate about its content as the “Ambassadors” of Hans Golbane the Younger. It captures two rich and educated people. On the left, it is established that the 29-year-old French ambassador to England, Jean de Denteville, on the right is Georges de Selv, Bishop of Lavois, who visited London in April 1533. It is amazing for a young man 25 years old how many important missions he was entrusted with at this age – he was a messenger to the Republic of Venice and the Vatican.

   Representatives of the intellectual elite are captured surrounded by all kinds of objects testifying to their interests. Many measuring instruments are needed to navigate in time and space. They are extremely interesting to consider. For example, on the sides of a polyhedron of a sundial, different points are indicated as a guideline, this is associated with time zones. Since the ambassadors traveled a lot (the time zones were not set de jure in that era, they existed de facto), such hours helped them navigate local time and correlate it with London. The artist also drew books, including a collection of Lutheran anthems. Here are physical devices and musical instruments, in the central place – lute, flute case. The most mysterious object that has not been able to determine for a long time is the extremely modified optically lying on the floor (from the point of view of the image angle)… skull.

   The picture is not just a portrait, it carries a certain symbolic message. The skull, of course, introduces into it the motive of the brandy of the earthly existence “Memento mori” (from the Latin – “Remember Death”). Some subjects can be read as a hint of a religious split and heated discussions related to it, in this vein, the torn string of lute is interpreted.