Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Speaking of art, Hans Holbien (the younger) was a genius

Holbien, who seems to have painted every famous person from the 16th century, had a talent for portraying the inner essence of the man in his portraits. Take a look at the following three:

A Good Man

A Weak Man

An Evil Man

Note how Holbien captures the character in the eyes. More looks forward, clear-eyed, with a trace of foreboding, as if he knew the price he would pay for his faith. King Henry looks to the side, eyebrow arched, perhaps in disdain at a suggestion he restrain his appetites. Cromwell has the furrowed brow and squint of one looking for a way to betray his friends for money. Truly Holbien has gotten to the inner man.

Note: Apparently, the Art Renewal Center isn't allowing these linked photos to show up. If you want to know what I'm talking about, go to this link and search for Holbien (it's Holbien, not Holbein).

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