Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze
– It is likely the first of a series of portraits of merchants who were members of the Hanseatic League – an association of the town that formed to protect merchants against pirates.
– The artist used this work to to show off his talents. It is widely believed that Holbein made this elaborate painting for Gisze to demonstrate his art in detail to the other merchants.
If you love Northern Renaissance style art pieces, The Ambassadors is a great piece to have in your collection.
This is also a great conversation piece because there are numerous symbolic objects worth deciphering within the painting.
In pop culture, this panting appeared a few times: in the 5th episode of Hunted the painting was commissioned by British merchants; in Green Day’s album ‘Insomniac’, the artwork has the same image of the anamorphic skull; in the film Calvary (2014), one of the characters urinates on the painting