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Holbein is one of the greatest German artists, who created his own style in painting, preferred portraits and genre scenes. His "Ambassadors" is a picture showing two people frozen at a table littered with trifles. Here is a lute, and an open book, and a book laid with a fabric bookmark, and a globe, and scrolls, and a candle. - A complete set of interests inherent in educated and comprehensively developed people.
The ambassadors are looking into the frame, one of them is dressed in the likeness of a black mantle, on his head is a square black cap. He holds a pair of compasses in his hand and looks at the viewer calmly, as if inviting him to take part in some kind of scientific debate. The second is dressed richer and more magnificent, but the cap on him is the same - these people are intellectuals of their time, carrying enlightenment and life. They pose without tension, as if they are written every day for posterity, and they are completely satisfied with their life, reckoning themselves as healthy, reasonable and positive people.
However, one thing is quite knocked out of the overall composition of the picture. If you look at it directly, it seems to be a vague and clumsy spot, put on the picture, God knows why. But once you bend your head a little, take a closer look, and it becomes clear that this is a human skull, grinning with the eternal bone grin of death.
“Memento mori,” as if the artist were telling anyone who looked at the picture. Remember death, remember that it is always there. A person does not think about it, perceives it as something alien to life, superfluous, clumsy, put into earthly existence for a joke, something that can be ignored. However, death is always there. One has only to bow your head, think - and now, it will become clear how close it is in every moment.
No matter how enlightened you are, no matter how intelligent you are, you are always waiting for you and glad to see you.
And she always laughs last.
Still Life Petrov Vodkin