The Ambassadors

June 20, 2012

The Ambassadors was painted by Hans Holbein in 1533.  The meaning behind the painting has been hotly debated, as has the identity of the 2 rotund gentlemen that grace the stage.

Notice anything missing?

No… we haven’t lost the plot… there is a skull there, you just need to look closer… or look at it from a different angle!

See the blob on the carpet?  There it is!  This is an example of anamorphic image- or an image that appears skewed or unrecognisable from front on, but when viewed from a different angle is perfectly clear.  We can see the skull if we turn out computer to the side, but incase you cant see it from the right angle- here it is:

Now in terms of the craniophile philosophy we are going a little outside of the box… there isn’t much anatomy or science to see here.  In fact, it looks like there has been an extra squamous suture added to the side of the skull making it look like a skull rainbow!  However, this skewed skull was just too cool to resist.

It currently hangs in the National Gallery in London so if you are a Londoner or a lucky holidayer head down and see if you can see the skull!


  1. It’s not an extra squamosal suture, it appears to be the result of blunt force trauma.

    • You might just be on to something there Leslie!

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