January 27, 2002

This painting by Hans Holbein, entitled "The Ambassadors", hangs in the National Gallery in London. The strange image towards the bottom is an example of an "anamorphic" image -- one that is seen only when viewed at an angle. When viewed from the right and below, an image of a skull appears. Click on the image and you can see as much of the effect as I am able to coax out of it with my image-processor. It is thought that the painting was designed to be hung at the top of a stairway, where those ascending would first see the skull which would disappear as they reached the top.
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