Hans Holbein the Younger, “Double Portrait of Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve” (1533)

Instruments of mathematical knowledge: Hans Holbein the Younger, “Double Portrait of Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve” (1533)

A skull rendered in distorted or “anamorphic” perspective floats in front of this double portrait widely known as “The Ambassadors”. Hans Holbein seems to associate them to exploration or Science and Mathematics by carefully arranging a number of instruments between them: a celestial and a terrestrial sphere, a quadrant, a torquetum and a polyhedral sundial.



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