DAILY ART FIX: Decoding the Symbolism in Hans Holbein’s “Ambassadors”

Art world links which caught my eye…

Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve ('The Ambassadors')

Hans Holbein the Younger “The Ambassadors” oil on oak 81″ × 82.5″

Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1533 painting know as “The Ambassadors” features a strangely distorted skull, and many other mysteries.

Today’s obsession with the glittering and deadly court of King Henry VIII would not exist without the artistic talents of one man. Hans Holbein the Younger, a German Catholic artist and official painter to the king, brought the Tudor age to life through more than 100 portraits that masterfully captured the unique expressions of their sitters (his subjects included Thomas MoreThomas Cromwell, King Henry, and many of his six wives).

The artist’s most iconic painting, however, eludes direct interpretation. Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve (1533), also known as The Ambassadors, has been heavily scrutinized by centuries of historians. The double portrait, proudly displayed at London’s National Gallery, remains a fascinating enigma within which every detail seems to suggest multiple meanings.

See the full article here: ARTSY – Decoding the Symbolism in Hans Holbein’s “Ambassadors”

See the optical illusion of the skull realized here:


RICHARD BLEDSOE is a visual story teller; a painter of fables and parables. He received his BFA in Painting from Virginia Commonwealth University. Richard has been an exhibiting artist for over 25 years, in both the United States and internationally. He lives and paints happily in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife Michele and cat Motorhead. He is the author of Remodern America: How the Renewal of the Arts Will Change the Course of Western Civilization.


I don’t fundraise off of my blog. I don’t ask for Patreon or Paypal donations. If you’d like to support the Remodern mission, buy a book. Or a painting

Learn more About My Art: Visionary Experience

My wife Michele Bledsoe has written her own inspirational book, Painting, Passion and the Art of Life.


Visit other posts for more commentary on the state of the arts.

Please send any inquiries to info@remodernamerica.com. Thank you!

2 thoughts on “DAILY ART FIX: Decoding the Symbolism in Hans Holbein’s “Ambassadors”

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