Seeing a great painting with Simon’s eyes

This is a “report” – a podcast – taken from a live recording of Simon’s Art in London series.

It is 459 seconds that make it pellucid why you get an expert to take you on an art tour, 459 seconds that show you how much more you see if you see it with a world-class guide.

The great guide in this instance being Simon. The painting is of course The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein.

N.B., that momentary – a second or so – slurring that you might hear at a couple of points is Simon’s Wifi playing up. Just ignore it – it’s a cross Simon has to bear.


“his name is inscribed on the hilt of his dagger”

“look at the fur, which is lynx’s fur by the way…

you can see the edges of the fur”

“if you look at it side on you can see the skull”

“it’s called pinking, where you slice through the lovely pink satin…just to prove that you can afford expensive fabrics”

“the book tells us he’s in his 24th year”

“tucked behind the curtain in the upper left hand corner of the painting”

“let’s look at the objects on the table”

“on the bottom we can see earthly objects”

“if we get really close in we can see that there are lots of hidden secrets”

“that fur-lined robe”

“the contrast between the two men”

“it’s a distorted object…to remind us of death”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *