joy magnetism: A cut above...and beyond

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

A cut above...and beyond

Magnet #124 - Holbein the Younger's The Ambassadors

But, where are they? Talk about cropping out the important stuff!

I can't believe this magnet from the National Gallery in London. It's of Holbein the Younger's Ambassadors, and it makes me giggle, from the second that I saw it.

First, this is the full image. Jeepers!

Second, they not only cropped out the guys, but they took out the cool anamorphic part of it.

And, third, here we go again with the reading into art, again. Supposedly, the broken lute string is discord, and the Lutheran hymn book is a plea for harmony. And, you don't get to see the sundials or the globes, to represent man's ability to measure time or chart the heavens.

But c'mon, someone at the museum had to make this cropping decision. I mean, how you gonna crop out the anamorphic skull - the very thing that makes the gallery visitors walk up to this very painting and actually look at it!
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G said...

It almost seems that the magnet is not of the original painting, but rather of a simpler painting, a still-life study of just two small component. There's only so much detail you can get in a magnet, so perhaps it was a conscious decision to distill a certain element, one that makes an attractive snippet.

Or... someone messed up and got snip-happy with the photoshop. Not like *that* never happens.

joy said...

Well, now I'm worried it's not the right painting! Heh.

And, I suppose the skull wouldn't have been a pretty magnet.