The Ambassador and the Pharaoh (Orosz István)
This book was written about, or rather on the pretext of two pictures. One of them was painted by Holbein, but somebody, sometime forged his name under the other one. Once in the past they were hanging in the same hall, in the customer’s castle, who was Jean de Dienteville, a French ambassador from the 16th century. Now, they are separated by an ocean.
Scholarly analysis, attempts on interpretation, literary fiction and a contemporary artist’s written and drawn notes – these constitute this book. The author, István Orosz just like Holbein, often worked on assignment. He tried several times the special portrayal techniques of paintings and the optical illusion called anamorphosis, and perhaps it is not of minor importance that he had the opportunity of living in a totalitarian dictatorship similar to that which had surrounded the German painter and the French ambassador in the royal court of Henry VIII.
The reader should select according to his/her pleasure from among the several and sometimes conflicting threads, select or reject explanations, we could add in good style, indeed as the most important criterion of the anamorphosis is that appropiate viewpoint and a redeeming visual angle must be found out by the viewer.