HOLBEIN, Hans the Younger
(b. 1497, Augsburg, d. 1543, London)

The Ambassadors (detail)

1533
Oil on oak
National Gallery, London

On the upper shelf of the 'étagère' lie various astronomical instruments. Behind Jean de Dinteville's arm is an astronomical globe, and beside it are numerous instruments with which the date and time can be determined: a cylindrical calendar, two quadrants (allowing the height of the sun and their angle to the horizon to be calculated), a ten-sided sun clock, and a torquetum, the most valuable and complex clock among the items displayed.




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