LEONARDO AND THE HOLBEIN CONNECTION
Hans Holbein the Younger identifies Leonardo’s model
Leonardo confirms the identification
“ipse dixit –‘The Offenburg girl’– ipse pixit”
(‘he himself said it’) (‘He himself painted it’)
LEONARDO AND THE HOLBEIN CONNECTION
The Leonardo and Holbein items in the royal collection:
Interpretation of the provenance
#3. THE AMBASSADORS BY HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER
#2. HENRY PATTISON: SECTION FROM SIR THOMAS MORE AND HIS FAMILY
BY HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER
Companion portraits by Hans Holbein the Younger
1000 EURO WILL BE PAID TO ANYONE
WHO CAN PROVE
JACK LESLAU CANNOT RESTORE TO LIVE/SPEAK
HANS HOLBEIN’S TALKING PICTURES
ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD
The Life and Times of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543), by the present author, is described and explained in pre-publication. The first objective is to publish findings to-date of the investigation into fact and substance of the so-called Holbein Codes. The second objective is to test Holbein using new methods and new technology. The third objective is rigorously to prove Holbein either mythmanic or a competent witness and Man of Truth. DNA findings may prove this conclusively, one way or the other, in due course. For the present, I have to draw attention that this German-born artist at the English Court of Henry VIII concealed personal and political information, foreign and domestic, in a secret method of communication, not pure code and not purely scientific, in seventy-three drawings and paintings discovered to-date. The decrypts are published for the first time. The reader is cordially invited to follow the hyperlink road to Internet City and enter a unique world of “talking pictures”.
For instance, from a total population of Holbein drawings and paintings, as already explained and made clear, the following eleven paintings are examined at an advanced level of scrutiny for the first time. The decrypts are truly astounding:
#1 Anne of Cleves. (IndexàBookstallèCDROM090900)
#2 Henry VIII. (No. 1) (IndexàBookstallèCDROM090900)
#3 Henry VIII. (No. 2) (IndexàBookstallèCDROM090900)
#4 Sir Richard Southwell. (IndexàBookstallèCDROM090900)
#5 Quinten Matsijs. (IndexàBookstallèCDROM090900)
#6 Sir Thomas More and his Family. (IndexàSir Thomas More and his Family)
#7 Richard III. (IndexàFrequently Asked QuestionsèRichard III)
#8 Sir Henry Guildford. (IndexàFrequently Asked Questions èTalking PicturesèSir Henry Guildford)
#9 Lady Mary Guildford. (IndexàFrequently Asked Questions èTalking PicturesèLady Mary Guildford)
#10 Henry Pattison. (IndexàNotes & ReferencesèHenry Pattison)
I have been asked if I can perhaps solve an unsolved mystery we ALL know: the identity of the sitter in what is perhaps the most famous painting in the world, Painting number 779 in the Louvre, ‘La Gioconda’ (‘a merry, light-hearted woman’), in Italian; ‘La Joconde’, in French; the so-called Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519).
Yes, perhaps I can. The best-fit option identifies a certain Magdalena Offenburg. Leonardo himself confirms this. The surname ‘Offenburg’ is encrypted in the painting. In this connection, Hans Holbein the Younger of Basel (1497-1543) subsequently paints an unauthorised portrait of Magdalena Offenburg, in Laïs Corinthiaca, encrypting personal information that the scandalous Magdalena Offenburg of Basel was indeed Leonardo’s model. This the first link ‘artist to artist’. I will return to it again.
NIET positive evidence concerning the so-called Mona Lisa
1. It is not at all clear but Leonardo is reported to have returned to Florence in or about 1500 after some 16 years in Milan and in or about 1503 began the portrait described today by the museum authorities ‘Painting 779, Louvre’.
2. On 10th October 1517, Antonio de’ Beatis is reported to have visited Leonardo and was shown three paintings, one allegedly described by Leonardo as ‘a Florentine lady’, which de’ Beatis noted in a diary.
3. This diary entry was subsequently changed at some quite uncertain time by a person unknown and now reads ‘La gioconda’ (sic) in the margin.
4. It is not at all clear but there is a traditional story of an unidentified Florentine nobleman who on some quite unknown and uncertain date after the death of Leonardo (allegedly, more than one hundred years later) conjecturally identified Leonardo’s sitter as Mona Lisa Gherardini, third wife of the Florentine silk merchant, Francesco del Giocondo, and the name “stuck”.
5. From direct inspection, “new” evidence suggests Leonardo identified his model in a non-verbalised method of communication explained and made clear in his work notes ‘non verbis sed rebus’: (‘not with words but with things’). [See: Das Bilderrätsel by Eva-Maria Schenk, Georg Olms Verlag, Hildersheim & New York, 1973, pp. 294-5, 186-7; Leonardo da Vinci: Bilderrätsel. Windsor Castle. Kat. Clark fol. 12692v. Feder, 30: 25,3cm. Um 1497; F. nach Abb. BR Marinoni, A.: 1954 S. 187, Leonardo da Vinci: Bilderrätsel. Windsor Castle. Kat. Clark fol. 12692v (Aus--a-d schnitte). Um 1497].
In this connection, I have now to draw attention to NIET negative evidence: (‘what is not there and what, reasonably, we might expect to find there’):
NIET negative evidence concerning the so-called Mona Lisa
1. There is no evidence that Leonardo was either commissioned or paid for the painting.
2. There is no evidence of Leonardo having identified the sitter in his lifetime, until now. [See: PART ONE, No. 5, above]
Magdalena and Dorothea Offenburg in the works of Hans Holbein
I must now draw attention to the NIET positive evidence in the case of the Magdalena Offenburg attribution as Venus, which you may conceivably and conclusively decide is wrongly attributed in the entries of Paul Ganz’s Complete Works of Hans Holbein the Younger, published by Phaidon, 1950, p. 231 and repeated here verbatim.
39. MAGDALENA OFFENBURG AS VENUS, 1526. Oil and tempera on limewood, 13⅝ x 10⅜. Basle, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung (Amerbach-Kabinett). PLATE 69.
The woman portrayed, a daughter of the wholesale merchant Bernhard Tschekkenburlin and widow of Hans Offenburg (died 1518), a son of the Basle mayor Peter, lived with two daughters who, like herself, led a loose life. It is just conceivable that Magdalena had her portrait painted in the French manner, like Diane de Poitiers, as a goddess; but it is quite certain that she did not commission her portrait as Laïs of Corinth (Catalogue No. 40). The two portraits, mentioned together in the Amerbach inventory of 1586 as ‘zwei täfelin doruf ein Offenburgin conterfehet ist’ (two panels with likenesses of Magdalena Offenburg) are nevertheless, as symbols for true love and mercenary love, pendants and belong together; they may have been painted for a wealthy lover. It is possible that this picture, too, once had an inscription, which was cut out later, as H. A. Schmid assumes; there is no mention of it in the inventory. His-Heusler regarded the Cupid as Holbein’s son Philipp.
LAIS CORINTHIACA : 1526. Oil and tempera on limewood. 13⅝ x 10⅝. Basle, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung (Amerbach-Kabinett). PLATE 70. The restrained pose and charming gesture of the Swiss lady, represented as a Greek hetaera [‘courtesan’ or, in familiar language ‘high class whore’], reveal, like the Venus, the influence of French portrait painting, which is also apparent in the colouring and in the more flowing manner of the painting. Woermann was the first to point out that the outstretched right hand is copied from Christ’s left hand in Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’’ in the refectory of S. Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
Holbein twice used Magdalena Offenburg as a model for his series of women’s costumes (Ganz, C.R., 146, 149) and also for the Virgin on the altarpiece of the burgomaster Meyer where she can be recognized by her slender build and lovely, oval-shaped face.
Section of the portrait of Jakob Meyer and his wife, Dorothea Kannengiesser, in The Altarpiece of Meyer and his Family (1526-1530). Collection of the Princes of Hesse and Rhein. Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt.
The covert rebus in the work of Leonardo
I have to draw attention that a contemporary witness/informant Hans Holbein left personal and political information for posterity in a secret method of communication, not pure code and not purely scientific, nonetheless requiring definition, which I term and name Hans Holbein’s ‘covert rebus’. From direct inspection, the method of encryption was invented by Leonardo. This is the second link ‘artist to artist’.
In this connection, as already explained and made clear, the covert rebus has a linguistic equivalent to what is pictorially depicted, which makes sense, relevant to known history.
First, I have to draw attention to the covert rebus in the work of Leonardo:
CZARTORYNSKI Gallery, Kraków.
54.8 x 40.3 cms. Oil on panel.
For instance, in Lady with Ermine, the Greek word for ‘ermine’ is pronounced, near enough, ‘galé’ or ‘gallee’, and Cecilia Gallerani, aged about 17 years when the painting was made, was allegedly the mistress of Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan.
Ginevra de’ Benci c.1474. Oil on panel
National Gallery of Art, Washington.
The juniper depicted by the artist in the background has a linguistic equivalent (OF. ‘genevre’), which is relevant to the known name of the sitter, Ginevra (or, ‘Genevra’) de’ Benci.
In the top left section of the so-called Mona Lisa portrait, Leonardo marks the sitter with towers on the walls of a citadel, fortress or castle (‘burg’, in Old German). The walls and towers are prominent on both banks of a river [the wall and guard tower on the right bank looking upstream can be seen end-on to the darker hair of the sitter]. The citadel, fortress or castle opens to the river (‘offen burg’); a linguistic equivalent of what is depicted, which makes sense, relevant to known history. We will revert to it again.
NIET positive evidence in 779
For the present, I have to draw attention to certain matters, which may at first seem unrelated and unconnected but in fact and substance are closely inter-connected and inter-related:
1. Leonardo portrayed his sitter in a plain black dress without jewels or other adornment, inviting the viewer to solve the puzzle of the famous enigmatic smile of an unidentified young woman perhaps in mourning?
2. Leonardo portrayed his sitter with eyes that for all time follow the viewer. I have to draw attention to the relentless gaze of Leonardo’s magical innovation, if one is sensitive to this sort of thing, which is sexually explicit.
3. Leonardo portrayed his unknown sitter with her hair undressed in a formal portrait. The best-fit option is that a contemporary woman’s undressed hair openly hints at careless and recklessly improper behaviour.
[If we want one simple reason why Leonardo did not openly identify his sitter – this will do!]
4. On the basis of “new” evidence presented for the first time, this is Leonardo’s realistic portrait of Magdalena Offenburg of Basel recognized by at least one other contemporary citizen of Basel, Hans Holbein the Younger, who encrypts two specific allegations ‘da vinci’s folly’ and ‘now in a position of distinction’ against her some twenty three years later, in or about 1526, meriting further investigation.
5. In this connection, I have to draw attention that in 1502 Magdalena Offenburg, born in or about 1482, married Hans Offenburg, a son of the Basel Mayor, Peter Offenburg. The death of Magdalena Offenburg’s husband, Hans Offenburg, is reported in 1518.
6. I have further to draw attention that Magdalena Offenburg’s husband died one year before the death of Leonardo in 1519.
7. NIET positive evidence therefore suggests Magdalena Offenburg was about twenty-one years of age in or about 1503 (b.1482) and about thirty six years in 1518.
8. Since the apparent age of Magdalena Offenburg in the so-called Mona Lisa painting is indeed about twenty one years in 1503 and NOT about thirty-six years when her husband died in 1518, we must look for some other death of a close relative or friend in 1503 in an ongoing method of inquiry. [For the most recent NIET positive evidence, that Magdalena Offenburg was mourning the death of her father when she was in her twenties, which I see today for the first time: See, Addendum]
1. Painting 779 Louvre is reported to have been in the possession of Leonardo when he died peacefully at Amboise on the Loire in a house given to him by Francis I, King of France.
2. Leonardo died 2 May 1519 at the age of 67.
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
1. GANZ believes Venus and Cupid and Laïs are portraits of Magdalena Offenburg painted in 1526. This is expertly contradicted and in dispute.
2. In this connection, I have to draw attention, for just one minute, to the scholarly contradiction on the identification of the sitters in Holbein’s paintings of Laïs and Venus and Cupid.
3. HIS (Die Basler Archive über Hans Holbein. 1870), SCHMID, with VAISSE concurring, suggest that the model for both portraits was Dorothea Offenburg, wife of the nobleman, Joachim von Sultz.
4. GANZ, HELD and the catalogue of the exhibition in Basel, suggest the model for both portraits was Magdalena Offenburg, the mother of Dorothea Offenburg.
5. KNACKFUSS was unsure but noted that the old catalogue of the Amerbach Collection disclosed the identity only as ‘a daughter of the noble family of Offenburg’.
6. I have to draw attention once more that Dorothea Offenburg was born in 1508, aged about eighteen in 1526, allegedly the date of the Laïs painting. It is not at all clear but, arguably, the woman depicted in Laïs is slightly older than the woman depicted in Venus and Cupid. I will return to this again.
7. For the present and notwithstanding the ‘misty’ effect in each Holbein painting that effectively disguises facial details, I have to draw attention that if 779 was painted in or about 1503 when Magdalena Offenburg was twenty-three years younger than in the Holbein painting of 1526 or thereabouts (born in or about 1482, aged about 20 years in 1502 when she married and 21 years in 1503 when Leonardo is reported to have started the painting and aged about 44 years in 1526), there is one best fit option that makes sense of this mass of confusing detail (and it IS confusing!):
8. Holbein painted Magdalena Offenburg in 1526 at half her real age, which is near or near enough the apparent age of the portrait Laïs, twenty-two years; slightly older than the woman in Venus and Cupid, which may have been a portrait of a daughter of Magdalena Offenburg, identified as Dorothea Offenburg, aged about eighteen years in 1526 (born 1508).
[I have to draw attention that direct comparison of the apparent age and known age of the sitters in the Holbein portraits reveal several ‘half age’ Holbein paintings identified to-date – an artist’s invention and elegant retrospective suggesting the features of a person at half their real age, which anticipates the modern photograph album long before the invention of photography. For instance, the half age portraits of Dr. John Clement and Lady Alice More in Sir Thomas More and his Family at Nostell; Portrait of the artist’s wife [?] in the Mauritshuis, Den Haag; and, Portrait of a Young Man with a Red Beret 1515, the Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt [identified and encrypted in the painting by Holbein as the artist Quinten Matsijs of Antwerp on the occasion of his 50th birthday]. See: HOLBEINARTWORKS 090900, CDROM ISBN 90-76056-04-8 D/20000/9175/2 ® Royal Library Brussels.]
9. I have to draw attention that Magdalena Offenburg may have been at first pleased Holbein had painted her with the beautiful “waxy” facial skin of youth [Code for ‘waxed young’: a ‘half age painting’]; but, perhaps was less pleased that Holbein had added an identifying qualifier ‘Laïs of Corinth’, the mistress of the famous artist in Classical history, Apelles.
10. It is not at all clear if Magdalena Offenburg objected to the artist’s encrypted claim (whether true or false) that she was Holbein’s mistress. Similarly, it is not at all clear if Magdalena Offenburg objected to the date ‘1526’ on the painting. In this connection, I have to draw attention to Holbein’s description of Magdalena Offenburg in allegorical mode: ‘da Vinci’s folly’ [The date reads: ‘1526’. In French: ‘un’ (one); ‘quint’ (‘five’ or, in familiar French, a ‘folly’); ‘vingt-six’ (‘26’): a near homophone of ‘Un quint Vincis’, or ‘da Vinci’s Folly’.]
[Since the statistical probability of a series of linguistic equivalents to what is pictorially depicted, which make sense, relevant to known history, is very, very low, you may conceivably decide that Holbein using a date to conceal relevant personal information in Laïs and in the portrait of Quinten Matsijs is not phantasmagoria! See: Note 8, above.]
11. It is again not at all clear if Magdalena Offenburg objected to the slashes in her gown [Code for ‘petits crevés’, in familiar French, or ‘good for nothings’ in English].
12. I have to draw attention, for just one minute, to the gold coins with inscriptions on the table. The allusion to payment for alleged services rendered by a famous courtesan of the day is clear. What is perhaps not quite so clear is the linguistic equivalent to the gold coins depicted with inscriptions, which makes sense, relevant to known history: (Gold coins with inscriptions is Code for ‘hors, (‘or’) de marque’ or ‘Now, in a position of distinction’.)
[I have to draw attention for just one minute more to the gold coins without inscriptions placed on a table in the Holbein painting The so-called goldsmith, Hans of Antwerp. By now, you may not be surprised this is relevant to known history and ‘Hors, (‘or’) sans marque’ is Code: ‘No longer in a position of distinction’.]
13. Lastly, I have to draw attention to a report that during the course of a public trial in Basel in 1539, ten witnesses gave evidence of ‘scandalous behaviour’ against Dorothea Offenburg, which evidence was accepted by the court and judgement found against her. GANZ suggests Dorothea’s behaviour was at least as scandalous as that of her mother. GANZ further reports mother Magdalena was furious that she had been portrayed as Laϊs.
14. If we want one safe and simple reason why Holbein did not openly identify his sitters – that will do!
15. Magdalena Offenburg’s alleged pretensions were perhaps justified. For instance, the Leonardo and Holbein portraits have been retouched and in each case the original veils have been over painted. [‘Veiled’ or ‘voilé, a symbol of mourning, also means ‘something hidden’, in familiar French.]
16. GANZ reports WOERMANN was the first to point out that the outstretched right hand of Laïs is a mirror image copied from Christ’s left hand in Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’ in the refectory of S. Maria delle Grazie in Milan.
17. I have to draw attention that Holbein is more interested in foreshortening the right arm to extend a hand in tribute to Leonardo more than in presenting a portrait ‘to the life’ of a haetera in Laïs Corinthiaca : 1526.
18. Finally, since 779 was painted in or about 1503, Leonardo’s sitter could not possibly have been Dorothea Offenburg, born 1508.
19. I have to draw attention to an arrow in the hand of the Cupid in this Holbein portrait pointing to the right hand of Venus.
I would further like to point out that the right hand of Holbein’s Venus resembles closely the right hand of Jesus in Holbein’s version of the Last Supper. Holbein had seen and was inspired, presumably, by Leonardo’s Last Supper. [Copy after Leonardo da Vinci, 1524-1525?, in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel]
1. Magdalena Offenburg aged about twenty-one is the most likely candidate who posed for Leonardo in or about 1502/1503.
2. In or about 1526, some twenty-three years later, Holbein painted an un-authorised ‘half-age’ portrait of Magdalena Offenburg in her forties, as Laïs.
3. In or about the same year Holbein painted a similarly un-authorised portrait of Magdalena Offenburg’s daughter at the real age, Dorothea Offenburg, then about 18 years, as Venus.
4. Since it is highly unlikely an artist will depict Venus wearing a dress and the sixteenth century mind would probably, almost certainly, have rejected the notion, I therefore conclude that this portrait of Dorothea Offenburg and Cupid alludes to the scandalous behaviour of which Dorothea Offenburg was found guilty in a famous trial in Basel in 1539.
5. Someone asks why Leonardo kept 779 and did not sell it. I have to draw attention that a writer or musician today can see or hear his work after it has been written or composed. However, once a painting is sold in the sixteenth century it is gone. Leonardo kept an image of a lady of doubtful virtue until he died, which suggests something private and intensely personal. He loved her. This was da Vinci’s folly.
Lastly, I have to draw attention that Magdalena Offenburg may have been in mourning following the death of her father, Bernhard Tschekkenburlin, at or about this time. In this connection, it has only recently come to light that the bridge at Buriano, which is thought to show the stretch of the River Arno at Ponte a Buriano, does not have seven arches, an odd number of arches like the bridge depicted in the upper right section of 779, but eight arches. In the French language there is an impair number of arches: ‘le pair lui manque’, a homophone of ‘le père lui manque’ (‘she lacks a father’ or ’she misses her father’, in English). Thanks to this new and most helpful discovery of the missing arch by two young students from Arezzo, “stretching the rebus” in an ongoing method of inquiry may become a national sport at Ponte a Buriano. My compliments to Sonia Tonietti and Stefania Gialli for a literally ground-breaking effort. (See, below)
CULTURE: LEONARDO- "MONA LISA",
Arezzo, 2nd June 2001. - The mystery of the background against which the very famous image of the 'Mona Lisa' by Leonardo da Vinci stands has been reopened. The most recent hypothesis, put forward by Professor Carlo Starnazzi of Arezzo, is that the woman with the mysterious smile was immortalized in front of an Arezzo landscape, which is thought to show the stretch of the River Arno at Ponte a Buriano, between Castiglion Fibocchi and the town of Arezzo. However, two female students from Arezzo, working on their theses in architecture, have now discovered that the bridge at Buriano does not have seven arches, like the one depicted in the 'Mona Lisa', but rather eight. The eighth arch was discovered yesterday, with the intervention of the provincial administration of Arezzo, after it was informed by the two female students, Sonia Tonietti and Stefania Gialli. The discovery of the eighth arch thus also reopens the question of the background of the masterpiece by Leonardo preserved at the Louvre. According to the first verification the eighth arch of the bridge on the Arno was covered over with earth, and thus hidden from the eyes of all, about half a century ago. This was not however the case for Leonardo, who, if he really wanted to depict that stretch of the Arno behind Mona Lisa, would have had to paint the bridge with eight arches. According to the two female students, in fact, documentation is thought to exist which attests to the eight arches of the bridge, the very same documentation which induced them to carry out the investigation which brought about the discovery. (Ask Jeeves! “Buriano Bridge” CULTURA E SCHOLA: See, also: www.adnkronos.com
Leonardo & The Holbein connection
(The third link ‘artist to artist’)
The reader may conceivably decide to enter Leonardo’s maze in 779 and against a background of upthrust mountains and weathered hills, we see a citadel, fortress or castle with walls and towers open on both sides of a river, which flows under a bridge to re-appear on the upper right section of 779 as a meandering old river in a flood plain. The river perhaps symbolizes the river of life: the life of the artist. (See, author’s sketch [E & O, Excptd]: 1. TOWERS 2. REVETTED CASTLE WALLS 3. BRIDGE 4. TOWERS ON RIGHT BANK OF RIVER 5. LEFT BANK DETAIL)
The reader is now invited to compare the upper left section of Leonardo’s 779 and the citadel, fortress or castle open to the lake or river painted by Holbein in Scenes of the Passion in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel, ‘The Carrying of the Cross’. The likelihood of ‘happenstance’ or ‘coincidence’ of details painted by Leonardo in 779, which Holbein had time and opportunity to see at Amboise in early 1524, re-appearing by chance in Scenes of the Passion painted by Holbein in Basel in late 1524, is of very low probability, meriting further investigation.
Jack LESLAU The Holbein Foundation, Vol. IV, No. 8 (July 2003)
LEONARDO AND THE HOLBEIN CONNECTION
Leonardo da Vinci Hans Holbein the Younger
(Age 64 years) (Age 27 years)
Biblioteka Reale, Turin. Kupferstichkabinett, Basel.
Since historic evidence has not produced conclusive proof of the provenance of a number of items by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) in the royal collection, leaving the case open to renewed examination, I propose to consider a new option: that a bundle of some 700 drawings on 60 pages and about 1000 drawings on 129 pages including the Leonardo cartoon The Virgin Mary and child, Saint Anne and the infant Saint John the Baptist was brought into England by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543). 1
A considerable amount of research and professional assistance will be required to verify this thesis. In this connection, I have to draw attention to Negative Intelligence (or, ‘Evidence’) Evaluation theory (NIET), a new method of evaluating historical evidence, which is explained and made clear in the text; and, my Theory of the Unconventional Symbols (TOTUS), similarly explained and made clear in the text, a new method of evaluating encryption in art. The reader may not be surprised that certain TOTUS decrypts confirm NIET findings in the case of Leonardo and the Holbein connection.
I will summarize my observations and findings for easy reference in a short Introduction (numbered paragraphs 1-5); Section One (numbered paragraphs 1-49 and résumé); Section Two (numbered paragraphs 50-66 and résumé); Part Two, Section One (numbered paragraphs 67-92); Part Two, Section Two (numbered paragraphs 93-119); Notes & References; A final Résumé and Conclusions.
‘Truth is always simple: only we humans are complex’. (Anon.)
1) Interpretation of the evidence of the whereabouts of Leonardo in Europe: his first period in Florence (1469-1481), his first period in Milan (1482-1499), his alleged period in the ephemeral Florentine Republic (1500-1506), his second period in Milan (1507-1512), his period in Rome (1513-1515), his last period in Amboise, (1516-1519). [E & O, exc.] 2
2) Interpretation of the evidence concerning the whereabouts of Holbein in Europe during the period from the move of the Holbein family from Augsburg in Germany to Basel in Switzerland in or about 1514 until the death of Holbein in London in 1543. 3
3) Interpretation of “new” evidence of the whereabouts of Leonardo in Europe during the period 1502 to 1503, which is presented for the first time. 4
4) Interpretation of the evidence concerning certain Leonardo drawings and manuscripts reported to have passed into the possession of Francesco MELZI after the death of Leonardo in 1519. 5
5) Interpretation of the officially alleged provenance of the Holbein sketches and Leonardo drawings and manuscripts in the Royal Collection.
(The names of Holbein and Leonardo are colour coded in Verdana font specially designed by Microsoft for easier reading on the PC monitor screen: Red for Holbein; Blue for Leonardo. Dates are in Bold. Locations are underlined.)
LEONARDO AND THE HOLBEIN CONNECTION
I have to draw attention that the person who brought the Leonardo cartoon and manuscript drawings into England, the most likely candidate by NIET criteria, which I will explain and make clear as we go along, is Hans Holbein the Younger. Since it is most unlikely a correct solution is found starting from an incorrect hypothesis and in order to base this NIET examination soundly – you may need to know the whereabouts of Holbein and Leonardo on certain days and dates in specific years, reliably corroborated by contemporary witnesses in extant written documentation and order them chronologically and geographically until we see how, when and where the paths of the two men perhaps crossed in history and how precisely they may have crossed in fact. Lastly, you may conceivably conclude in an on going method of inquiry that time-honoured practice is to test why, how, when, by what means and with whose assistance, the Leonardo items passed into royal possession.
There are three separate trails of evidence in Europe, which finally join in England: 1. The Holbein trail in company with his father and elder brother, from Germany into Switzerland; 2. The Leonardo trail from Italy to France; 3. The Holbein trail from Switzerland into Italy, Flanders, France and, lastly, England. But before we begin, I have to draw attention that certain evidence presented in paragraphs 1 through 49 of NIET Positive Evidence hereinafter, may be fake.
NIET POSITIVE EVIDENCE
1. 1514: Nothing is known of Holbein’s mother, which is odd, but in or about 1514 at the age of about seventeen years (b. 1497/8) Holbein moved with his father and brother from Augsburg in Germany to Basel in Switzerland where both brothers were apprenticed to Hans Herbster in whose workshop Holbein designed and decorated a table for a certain Hans Baer of Basel, signed and dated “1515”, now in the Schweizerisches Landesmuseum, Zurich.
2. 1515: The victorious Francis I, King of France (Victor at Marignan in 1515) was impressed by Italian art and artists. The rebirth of classical art, later termed and named la renaissance, was spreading throughout Europe. Amboise on the river Loire became a leading centre of renaissance activity in France.
3. 1515-1516: The legend of Leonardo da Vinci tells how he was invited to come to Amboise by the French king and arrived from Rome on the back of a mule with the Mona Lisa in his baggage and the unfinished portraits of Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist accompanied by his pupil F. MELZI, a so-called ‘disciple’ SALAÏ, and his servant MATHURINE. They were installed in the only house Leonardo ever owned, le Clos-Lucé at Amboise, a gift from Francis I.
4. 1517: The presence of Holbein in Lucerne is reliably documented on two occasions. First, on 24 October 1517, Holbein received payment from the Municipality for some work commissioned by the Municipality. Second, less than two months later, on 10 December 1517, Holbein was fined for having drawn a sword in an affray, which fine was greater than the amount earned by Holbein and commissioned by the Municipality.
5. 1518: Some slight evidence of a change in his style might suggest that in 1518 Holbein may have visited northern Italy but this is not central to our task of finding reliable independent corroboration of Holbein’s whereabouts on certain verifiable dates. We therefore remember it but do not place any reliance upon it unless and until credibly verified or falsified in substance and, hopefully, in fact.
6. 16 February 1519: Holbein received further payment for work from the Municipality of Lucerne.
7. 23 April 1519: Leonardo allegedly made a Will at Amboise ‘leaving his manuscripts and instruments to a certain Francisco MELZI.’ Other items were left to servants.
8. 2 May 1519: Leonardo died in Amboise.
9. 21 May 1519: Holbein received a further small payment from the Municipality of Lucerne.
10. 25 September 1519: Holbein was received with the title of ‘Master’ (‘Zum Himmel’) at the Corporation of Painters in Basel.
11. 14 October 1519: Holbein’s earliest rebus discovered to-date is in the Portrait of Bonifacius Amerbach, allegedly five and a half months, approximately, after the death of Leonardo, which since the date depicted ‘14 October 1519’ contains a rebus in Latin, may be a retrospective. We cannot rely upon the date, which may be fake, but only on the undoubted method, which is Leonardo’s.
12. 3 July 1520: Holbein, age 23, received the title and was formally created Citizen of the Town of Basel.
13. Between 15 June and 14 September 1521: Holbein received payment for contracted work from the Municipality of Basel. The contract was renewed from February until November of 1522.
14. In 1522: The Municipality of Basel paid Holbein for work not completed until 1530. Why was this work not completed before 1530? We may now examine the record of Holbein’s alleged agenda throughout this eight-year period 1522-1530.
15. I have to divert, for just one minute, to draw attention that the Leonardo cartoon The Virgin and child, Saint Anne and the infant Saint John the Baptist, in the National Gallery London, almost certainly existed, wholly or in part, in 1502: the year Filippino Lippi (1457-1504) copied Leonardo’s image of the Virgin (and the child Jesus) into the fresco he completed in the Strozzi Chapel of the Church of Santa Maria Novella at Florence. We will return to it again.
16. For the present, a report shows Leonardo employed by Caesar Borgia from 1500 until 1502 as a military engineer in Romagne, a large district west of Rome. There is a gap in the story of Leonardo, which I propose now to examine in some detail after his first visit to Milan (1482-1499) and his work in Romagne (1500 to 1502) -- before Leonardo’s second visit to Florence (1503-1507).
17. I have to draw attention to encrypted “new” evidence that the name of the model for the Virgin in the Leonardo cartoon was Magdalena Tschekkenburlin who married in 1502 Hans Offenburg, a son of the Mayor of Basel, Peter Offenburg. (See, above.)
18. I have further to draw attention to the NIET negative evidence that there is no contemporary witness discovered to-date who left written evidence that Holbein had seen Leonardo’s painting, termed and named by the museum authorities ‘Painting 779 Louvre’. This does not mean Holbein had not seen the painting. It means there is no evidence of Holbein seeing the painting, which is contradicted and in dispute on the grounds of “new” NIET positive evidence, which may be fake, presented for the first time.
19. I have first to draw attention that Holbein probably, almost certainly, began to paint Scenes at the Passion of Christ (1524) comprising four tableaux of great maturity now at the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung in Basel and, from direct inspection, in the background of the section on the second panel on the left depicting Jesus carrying the cross there is a rebus in the German language, which makes sense relevant to known history: Holbein’s version of Leonardo’s rebus of the citadel, fortress or castle open to a lake or river in 779 – “offen burg”. (See: Part One, above.)
20. Holbein’s encrypted evidence of identification of the model of the Virgin (in the Scenes of the Passion 1524) is expertly confirmed in the Burgomeister Meyer Altarpiece. The Meyer Altarpiece in the Collection of the Princes of Hesse and Rhein in Darmstadt is reported to be entirely and undoubtedly authentic (GANZ), which Holbein probably began in or about 1526 and completed in or about 1530 with a ‘half-age’ portrait of Magdalena Offenburg. Factually, Magdalena Offenburg was about 44 years old in 1526 (b. 1482) – apparent age about 22 years in the painting. (See: “Mona Lisa” above, wherein is illustrated and discussed the known age and apparent age of each sitter in a total population of four Holbein portraits discovered to-date containing ‘half-age’ paintings of five sitters named and identified by Holbein, including three hitherto unknown sitters positively identified by Holbein in Leonardo’s secret method of communication. This is new. (See also: Introduction “Mona Lisa”, where twelve major decrypts are available on CDROM. Sixty-one other Holbein decrypts, major and minor, are ready for publication in due course.)
21. There is professional contradiction and dispute among Holbein experts on the identity of Holbein’s models; either Magdalena Offenburg (née Tschekkenburlin) or her daughter Dorothea Offenburg. You may conceivably decide that this matter of mother or daughter in the paintings may now be resolved on the basis of new evidence.
22. Finally, I have to draw attention that the encrypted evidence (“0ffenburg”) in Scenes at the Passion of Christ (1524) suggests Holbein had recognized that his fellow citizen of Basel, Magdelena Offenburg, was indeed Leonardo’s model for 779, which was then at Amboise; and, from Holbein’s known whereabouts in 1524, which I will now describe and make clear, you may conceivably decide was the first and perhaps only time Holbein saw 779.
23. In this connection, a certain councillor of Basel, Hans Oberreid, born in Freiburg and settled as a merchant of Basel, commissioned an Altarpiece known as the Oberreid Altarpiece (today in the University Chapel of Freiburg Cathedral), which Holbein is reported to have begun in 1521 and completed in 1522. This Hans Oberreid was married to Amelia Tschekkenburlin and there was time and opportunity for Holbein to meet other members of the family during the execution of his Basel commission, presumably, including a close female relative, Magdalena Offenburg (née Tschekkenburlin), who perhaps told Holbein she was Leonardo’s model in 779.
24. I have to draw attention once more to “new” evidence suggesting that Holbein saw 779 for the first and perhaps only time at Amboise in 1524. The oblique but nonetheless valid argument follows that Holbein did not know if what he had been told in or about 1522 in Basel was true or not concerning the identity of Leonardo’s model, not until AFTER he had seen 779 at Amboise in 1524; and, presumably, had recognized Magdalena Offenburg in the painting then a young woman in her twenties. We will return to this again.
25. Before we may leave this section, I have to draw attention, for just one minute more, that Holbein painted a version of The Last Supper between 1524 and 1525 in Basel. In this connection, Holbein’s modified version of The Last Supper reflects Leonardo’s original idea, which is still seen today in the fresco The Last Supper in the refectory of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan, completed during Leonardo’s second period in Milan (1507-1513) and before he went to Rome (1513-1516). This is interesting evidence that Holbein visited Milan: significant, but not conclusive.
26. The best-fit option is that in a year unknown for certain but almost certainly before 1524, Holbein visited Milan where he saw the Leonardo fresco The Last Supper and, because such things are known in the past and even professionally encouraged in the arts by at least one artist today (Michael Caine): Holbein “stole” the idea, five years after the death of the greatest innovator of the renaissance, to create his own version of The Last Supper.
27. We are now in possession of undoubted history from a reliable source. ERASMUS wanted someone to take a personal gift (Holbein’s painting of ERASMUS) from Basel in Switzerland to Avignon in France and he approached Holbein. Conjecturally, Holbein seized on the opportunity to visit the centre of the French renaissance and perhaps see the 779 painting Magdalena Offenburg had claimed, presumably, was a painting of her by Leonardo. In support of this theory let us first order precisely the known sequence of chronological and geographical NIET positive evidence.
28. 3 June 1524: ERASMUS writes to PIRCKHEIMER: “I have just sent to England two portraits of myself painted by a noble artist who has brought another portrait of me into France.” This letter refers to Holbein and mentions a voyage into France made by Holbein early in the year 1524. We will return to it again.
29. For the present, the best fit option is that the portrait of Erasmus brought from Switzerland into France by Holbein was intended for Bonifacius Amerbach, Erasmus’s friend and personal lawyer, who was staying at Avignon.
30. We may now divert, for just one minute, to study the map of Europe. The route from Basel to Avignon takes a traveller in a westerly direction towards Lyons and then via a dog leg due south from Lyons to Avignon, a journey by boat down the Rhône of some 200 kilometres: a cheaper means of transport than travel by post horse or hire carriage in 1524. In this connection, I have to draw attention that on his return journey north, somewhere between Avignon and Lyons, Holbein made a significant detour. He travelled north-west towards Bourges on the Loire, a journey of about 240 kilometres as the crow flies from Lyons, but a shorter and relatively quicker cross-country journey of some 60 kilometres to where there were passenger boats and a cheap and leisurely boat ride of one or two days down the Loire to Bourges where Holbein designed the funerary statues of Jean, Duc de Berri, and of his wife, Jeanne de Boulogne, in Bourges Cathedral (The designs by Holbein are now in the Kupferstichkabinett in Basel). This detour is perhaps doubly significant since there is no evidence discovered to date that Holbein revisited this area of France after 1524.
31. I have now to draw attention to a view of the Castle of Blois on the Loire in a series of forty-one woodcuts for Holbein’s The Dance of Death, first roughed out, probably, almost certainly, in 1524 and then added to with extensive graphic work, including numerous frontispieces, alphabets, decorative initials, biblical illustrations and the hand-printed French texts and later made into woodcuts by an accomplished collaborator, Hans Lützelburger, who subsequently sold them to the Lyons printing firm of TRESCHEL, which published them in a book fourteen years later in 1538. I have further to draw attention that Holbein may have visited other castles on the Loire in 1524. For instance, Woodcut No. 8 shows an unmistakeable likeness of Francis I (1494-1547) who outlived Holbein (d. 1543) and we know from historians of Leonardo the friendly association of the king and Leonardo at the Castle of Amboise. Furthermore, the town of Blois is approximately 30 kilometres from Amboise, which is downriver on a commercial waterway. I have to draw attention that Holbein, aged 27 years, is reported by GANZ to have visited France in order to see how the French renaissance was progressing. As already explained and made clear, le Clos Lucé at Amboise was where the late and most famous Grandmaster of the renaissance, Leonardo, lived his last three years (1516-1519). There is more.
32. I have now to draw attention that it has not been possible to-date to find the place or the year of birth or death of Francisco MELZI. (See Note #5, et seq.) There is no Will recorded in the literature and until and unless it is discovered it is not possible to establish conclusively that the items MELZI allegedly inherited in the Will of Leonardo, which also cannot be found, were legally inherited. Neither can we establish if the Leonardo items were in the possession of MELZI when he died, or if he had parted with them before death upon receipt of payment or he may have lost them or they were destroyed or were given away as gifts to a person or persons unknown.
33. As already explained and made clear, “new” NIET positive evidence, which may be fake, suggests Holbein had at least one special reason to want to examine 779 during a conjectured visit to Amboise in 1524 when the Leonardo items were in the reported possession of Francisco MELZI. Does Holbein acknowledge this or any part of this purely conjectural argument in fact and substance? We will return to this again.
34. For the present, NIET negative evidence suggests that since the Holbein items in the royal collection at Windsor were not returned to Holbein’s legal wife in the large chest of his clothes and other possessions recorded by his widow in Basel, one option is that Holbein acquired the Leonardo’s drawings and manuscripts in or about 1524, requiring ongoing investigation of the actual manner and means of the acquisition, and subsequently either brought the items himself or arranged for them to be brought into England where they were kept in his workshop and were later taken into royal possession and wrongfully retained by the Crown after his death in 1543.
35. A second option in view of NIET negative evidence of the apparent lack of substantive evidence in official records how and when precisely the Holbein and Leonardo drawings came into possession of the Crown, we cannot eliminate anyone from this renewed investigation and therefore continue to test officialdom in an ongoing method of inquiry.
36. In this connection, if Holbein brought in the Leonardo items himself, the first possible occasion was Holbein’s first visit to England in 1526. The second possible occasion was his second visit to England in 1532. If someone else brought them into England there is no evidence from any source discovered to-date.
37. The most likely means of acquisition of the items by far the best candidate, Holbein, tested by NIET criteria with findings based soundly on a balance of probability, is now further examined in an ongoing method of inquiry.
38. First, I have to draw attention that upon the death of Holbein’s wife in 1549 (née Elsbeth Binzenstock) the inventory of her belongings mentions a chest or trunk containing expensive man’s clothing inherited from her late husband, which had arrived safely from London without reported loss or damage.
39. Similarly, the inventory shows Holbein’s widow in possession of certain items attributed to her husband and made earlier, probably, almost certainly, during his last visit to his wife and children in Basel in 1538.
40. These Holbein drawings became the property of Bonifacius Amerbach and are seen in the 1578 inventory of his son, Basilius Amerbach.
41. It is not at all clear if Bonifacius Amerbach, a jurisprudent and highly respected scholar, purchased the undoubted 1538 Holbein drawings from the widow during her lifetime or bought them subsequently from her Estate. Nonetheless, we may reasonably assume a legal transaction in view of the lack of secrecy surrounding the acquisition.
42. These Amerbach documents provide evidence of a substantial inheritance one part of which was returned to Holbein’s legitimate heirs in Basel. Another part in the extant Will of the artist, notably the sale of Holbein’s horse, went towards settling Holbein’s debts in England including payment for the housing, clothing and feeding of two illegitimate children by an unknown mother, never subsequently identified. The undoubted third part, consisting of the artist’s finished and unfinished drawings and paintings, now in royal possession, is not mentioned.
43. I have to draw attention that neither Holbein’s nor Leonardo’s drawings and manuscripts are mentioned in Holbein’s Will and no part of the Will mentions or shows the return to Holbein’s wife of any painting or drawing made by her husband in England. Since no one and nothing is excepted from this investigation, this omission in Holbein’s Will does not mean, for instance, that the Leonardo items were not in Holbein’s possession before he died. It means, as already explained and made clear, that where there is no evidence does not mean there is no evidence, leaving the matter open to further investigation.
44. For the present, the best-fit option remains that in or about 1524 Holbein acquired from an unknown person or persons, possibly Francisco MELZI or his son, Orazio MELZI, certain items formerly belonging to Leonardo. We may reasonably assume Holbein was aware of the risk of being denounced as a thief in the event of non-disclosure of the details of the Leonardo acquisition and might take appropriate steps to protect himself from subsequent prosecution perhaps by the allegedly legal owner at the time Francisco MELZI and perhaps in the form of a document signed by MELZI. Where is this conjectured document? Perhaps it may be found one day in a secret archive, which is possible. We will return to it again.
45. For the present, following the death of Holbein in 1543, royal historian K. T. Parker suggests the Holbein drawings were found in Holbein’s workshop in Whitehall, London. No contemporary mention is made of the Holbein paintings or of a single painting, finished or unfinished, discovered in the royal archives to-date. Neither is there mention of personal papers or letters, not at any time, either then or subsequently. I have to draw attention that Holbein’s friends included some of the greatest letter writers of the sixteenth century (More and Erasmus) and yet not one letter or personal paper has been found to-date. This is slightly troubling. At the same time, I have to draw attention that the lack of Holbein’s personal papers is merely suspicious and insufficient in law to charge Holbein with theft of the Leonardo items. Other proof is required. We will return to it again.
46. I have now to draw attention to compelling “new” evidence that the officers of the crown who took possession of the drawings, and for the present let us assume only drawings were taken, did not know and could not possibly have known, for a reason soon to be explained and made clear, that the conjectured Leonardo items were ALSO in Holbein’s workshop.
47. I believe the officers of the crown took possession of the Leonardo drawings and manuscripts, which were then bundled together with Holbein drawings and manuscripts, in the mistaken belief they were Holbein drawings and manuscripts. We return to this later.
48. For the present, following the death of Holbein in 1543, if personal property and papers belonging to Holbein was indeed confiscated by the Crown merely on the justification, insufficient in law, that they were on Crown property when the owner died, as suggested by K. T. Parker who might be said to be acting for the Crown, we may reasonably assume that the fine clothes and personal effects recorded in the Basel inventory following the death of Holbein’s widow in 1549 and returned post mortem in a chest or trunk to the legal widow in Basel in 1543, were found in Holbein’s rented accommodation in the City of London where he died of the plague, which was NOT Crown property.
49. Following the death of Holbein in 1543: I have to draw attention that 184 years later, Queen Caroline, the wife of George II (1727-1760) is reported to have discovered the Holbein drawings in an old bureau in Kensington Palace, London, in or about 1727. NIET negative evidence suggests in 1727 the bureau may also have contained the no less celebrated drawings and manuscripts by Leonardo, although the items were at first thought to have been Holbein’s drawings and manuscripts and the fact only emerged 33 years later, at the beginning of the reign of George III (1760-1820), that Leonardo was the artist and the manuscripts were also Leonardo’s. We will return to this later.
50. Encrypted evidence suggests Leonardo chose as his model in Painting 779 Louvre and the Virgin in the Leonardo cartoon a certain Magdalena Offenburg (née Tschekkenburlin).
51. The evidence suggests Magdalena Tschekkenburlin first sat for the artist in or before the year she married Hans Offenburg in 1502, a son of the Burgomeister of Basel, Peter Offenburg.
52. In this connection, the evidence suggests that in or about 1502 Fillippino Lippi copied the image of the Virgin and child Jesus from Leonardo’s Virgin and Child and St Anne and the infant St John the Baptist. I have to draw attention that this is extant, compelling pictorial evidence that Leonardo’s image of the Virgin existed BEFORE 1502 when Magdalena Offenburg was aged less than twenty years (b. 1482).
53. The evidence suggests that the high cheekbones and oval face of a remarkably beautiful young woman, Magdalena Offenburg (née Tschekkenburlin) -- almost certainly of Slav origin (the family name suggests a ‘Tschekker’ or ‘Czech’ from the Slav or ‘Slave’ countries) -- attracted the attention of a great painter who chose her as his model for the Leonardo cartoon before 1502.
54. The evidence suggests Magdalena Offenburg sat once more for Leonardo as the model in Painting 779 Louvre, in or about 1503.
55. The evidence further suggests that since Magdalena Offenburg was married in 1502 it follows she was less than twenty years of age before 1502 (b. 1482) and aged twenty-one years in 1503 -- the year attributed by the Louvre experts to Painting 779.
56. Notwithstanding the report following Leonardo’s departure from Milan in 1499 -- that he was in Romagne from 1500 to 1502 in service to Caesar Borgia and that nothing certain is reported in the literature of Leonardo’s whereabouts until he is reported to have returned to Florence on his second visit in 1503 – this leaves the case of the “missing” period 1502-1503 open to renewed examination at an advanced level of scrutiny.
57. In the matter of the Leonardo cartoon, I conclude following his departure from Milan in 1499 and after he had perhaps completed a term of service to Caesar Borgia about 1500 to 1502, that Leonardo aged 50 in 1502 (b. 1452) met an extremely beautiful young woman, Magdalena Tschekkenburlin, aged 20 in 1502 (b. 1482), at or just before the time she was married in Basel in 1502 -- during the “missing” period 1502-1503.
58. I further conclude that Leonardo invited Magdalena Tschekkenburlin to pose as the Virgin in the Leonardo cartoon during a hitherto unsuspected and unknown visit by the artist from Rome to Basel, perhaps on this or other business, and Leonardo took away with him the cartoon when he left Basel for Florence some time before the end of 1502.
59. In the matter of Painting 779 Louvre by Leonardo: I have to draw attention that since there is new evidence from Arezzo, a town south east of Florence, confirming obliquely that 779 was painted in or near Florence and the small town of Vinci is also near Florence (the precise location can be tested conclusively by checking the pollen trapped in the primary layers of 779 and comparing it with the known Italian pollen database today) -- I believe the newly-wed Magdalena Offenburg left her home in Basel in 1502 and travelled across the Alps in or about 1503 to meet Leonardo in Florence. In this connection, I have further to draw attention that no reason was given when Magdalena Offenburg decided to leave hearth, home and husband; and, Basel is a long way, some five hundred kilometres, from Florence.
60. The evidence suggests Magdalena Offenburg decided to leave provincial Basel in 1502 for a modelling career in the cosmopolitan and artistic centre of Florence in 1503. This decision resulted in the scandal that pursued this lady for the rest of her life. Although Magdalena Offenburg subsequently returned to Basel and later gave birth to two children, the documentary evidence further suggests on the basis of contemporary archival statements given during the course of a famous trial in Basel in 1539 by ten male witnesses -- that she deliberately provoked her family by continuing to live a scandalous life style and encouraging her daughters to do the same.
61. Holbein confirms this identification and, make of it what we will, the decrypt suggests that in 1526 ‘da Vinci’s folly’, as Holbein terms and names Magdalena Offenburg, was now ‘in a position of distinction’.
62. The evidence suggests Leonardo’s model who posed for the Virgin in Basel in 1502, Magdalena Offenburg, posed in 1503 for a far from virginal portrait in Florence, which may have been changed and added to by Leonardo without her knowledge when, conjecturally, following Magdalena Offenburg’s return to her family in Basel after 1503 and following the death of her father, Bernhard Tschekkenburlin -- Leonardo finally revealed a beautiful young woman with eyes that follow you everywhere, unconventionally portrayed in a state of undress on a balcony in or near Florence.
63. Startling to all, amusing to some and shocking to others, Leonardo was in love and the Florentine cognoscenti knew it. He therefore rarely showed 779 and then only to selected visitors; for instance, the local Archbishop’s Secretaris de’ Beatis who made a precious note of the visit.
64. Finally, I conclude that from 1502 onwards, Leonardo, now aged fifty refused to discuss with any living person the name of the young woman he had perhaps foolishly loved and lost.
65. I further conclude Leonardo decided to communicate this private and intensely personal sentiment for posterity in a painting he kept with him in Florence (1503-1507) and which he still had on his second visit to Milan (1507-1513) and from Milan to Rome (1513-1516) -- until he died sixteen years later in 1519 at Amboise (1516-1519).
66. I conclude it was the intention of Leonardo for 779 not to be seen by the general public until after his death -- when the mystery of 779 was born.
I conclude Holbein saw 779 at Amboise in 1524, five years after Leonardo’s death. The proof is the open citadel, fortress or castle depicted on the second panel from the left of the four panels of Holbein’s Scenes of the Passion, painted in 1524, and today in Basel in the Öffentliche Kunstsammlung and referred to as the Carrying of the Cross, which is Holbein’s version of the citadel, fortress or castle open to the lake or river depicted in the background of Leonardo’s 779. I conclude, since all historians of art agree Holbein painted his version in or about 1524, that earlier in the same year Holbein saw the unforgettable 779 for the first and, on grounds of the testimony of ERASMUS and Holbein’s known travels thereafter in Europe, for the last time. Finally, I conclude Holbein may have been surprised, as already explained and made clear, that someone unidentified for certain in Basel had told him the truth concerning the greatest unsolved mystery of the renaissance, perhaps Magdalena Offenburg herself, that she was Leonardo’s model in 1503, which Holbein commemorates in the German rebus of the open citadel, fortress or castle “offen burg” in the 1524 Scenes of the Passion of Christ. For the present there only remains the mystery of Leonardo’s work notes at Windsor wherein Leonardo explains and makes clear his secret method of communication with linguistic equivalents in a text, painting or drawing, which make sense (they must make sense!), relevant to known history; and, which Holbein alone used more than seven hundred times in seventy-three of his paintings and drawings discovered to-date. It follows that the Leonardo method is personal to Holbein as a signature. I conclude, since there is no end to discovery, the Achilles heel of historians, we may reasonably assume DNA profiling may eventually identify the DNA profile of each person who may have handled an item nearly five hundred years ago. The unenviable task of the scientist is to identify Holbein’s DNA trapped in the linseed oil binding the pigment in a Holbein painting, which is found also on the Leonardo items in the royal collection. These DNA findings provide conclusive evidence to verify or falsify my Leonardo theory and the Holbein connection. For the present, I propose to continue testing the analysis by K. T. Parker of the alleged provenance of the Holbein drawings at Windsor. Findings are compared to NIET Positive Evidence of Leonardo and the supposed Holbein connection reported in paragraphs 1 through 49 above.
LEONARDO AND THE HOLBEIN CONNECTION
1) The analysis by K. T. Parker of the provenance of the Holbein items at Windsor: an interpretation.
2) The analysis by the present author of the provenance of the Leonardo items in the royal collection.
67. I have first to draw attention to NIET positive evidence, which may be fake, in The Drawings of HOLBEIN at Windsor Castle, by K. T. Parker, published by Phaidon Press Ltd., Oxford & London, 1945. The INTRODUCTION reads:
In a volume, such as this, dealing on specialized lines with Holbein’s drawings in the Royal Collection, it will be well to start by giving some account of the long and adventurous wanderings, a veritable odyssey through the centuries.
First, I have to draw attention that K. T. Parker does not start his account of the Holbein drawings in the Royal Collection by telling us at the outset, as one might reasonably expect, how and when the drawings, perhaps more accurately described as sketches of courtiers and other persons in the time of Henry VIII, came into royal possession.
68. In this connection, by now you may not be surprised that certain sketches were not translated into formal portraits. Some sketches were translated into formal portraits that indeed exist today. Some of the latter portraits were commissioned and others were not commissioned. The reasons for these anomalies were not fully considered by K.T. Parker. For instance, certain Holbein portraits contain personal and political information concerning the sitter encrypted in a secret method of communication. The risk was that many of the sitters were educated and might have understood what Holbein was saying and if we want a safe and simple reason why a portrait of Sir Richard Southwell, a convicted murderer and allegedly a double-murderer, was almost certainly not authorised – this will do. If we want one more reason, notwithstanding this alleged double murder peripheral to our investigation, we will return to it later. (See Note #20 Sir Richard Southwell)
69. K. T. Parker:
Not that the relevant information were lacking elsewhere.
I have to draw attention to the statement: ‘Not that the relevant information were lacking elsewhere’. By now, you may conceivably decide that relevant information is indeed lacking. In this connection, factual information has been laid end on to contra factual information over a considerable period of time in a disconnected form in the past and indeed here once more in this book of 1945 by K. T. Parker. We will revert to it again.
70. The text continues:
To justify going over the ground again, if justification indeed were needed, it would be enough to point to the many minor inaccuracies, and occasional major ones, which occur in every printed account of the drawings.
By now the reader may not be in the least surprised that I must politely but firmly insist on going over the ground once more. I believe this is justified on the basis of new and many old minor inaccuracies and occasional major ones, which may occur in every printed account of the drawings, as K. T. Parker correctly observes and anticipates, leaving the case open to renewed investigation, similarly to be considered in an on going method of inquiry.
71. K. T. Parker:
Let us start therefore by dealing, as fully as space will permit, with their history, and pause first of all, for a moment at least, at the point soon after the accession of George II, when Queen Caroline discovered them, a long-forgotten treasure, in a bureau in Kensington Palace.
I have to draw attention that in this section the unbroken NIET chain of positive evidence, which may be fake, begins from the death of Holbein in London from the plague in 1543. I have further to draw attention that K. T. Parker begins his selective evidence by dealing with the alleged provenance starting 184 years later, at a point soon after the accession of George II (1727-1760), when the Windsor Holbeins were discovered in a bureau at Kensington Palace.
72. The text continues:
That incident, as no other, marks a dividing line between two distinct phases of their existence. From that moment onwards the full light of modern times rests upon them, and they emerge once and for all from the absorbing, but often confused chapter of their history, during which, more than once, all recorded traces of their whereabouts fade out, and they are lost from sight for decades at a stretch.
As already described and made clear, if documents are lost for decades at a stretch, the obvious question is to inquire what happened to them. In this connection, K. T. Parker claims not to know why they disappeared for 184 years. We will now try to correct this remarkable omission over the considerable time period and discover where they had been, in fact, and every other why and wherefore.
73. For the present, let us leave the Windsor Holbeins in their oubliette and concentrate on how the Leonardo cartoon and the Leonardo drawings and manuscripts came into royal possession. To this end I focus solely on those matters which concern us directly: the contemporary documented historical link of Leonardo and Holbein in Europe, as already explained and made clear, and the subsequent arrival of the work of both men in the royal collection in England.
74. For instance, K. T. Parker continues:
The part played by Queen Caroline in the discovery is by no means merely legendary. It is abundantly vouched for by Vertue [George Vertue d. 1756] and others, and there is every reason to believe that it was in fact by her, at Kensington, and in 1727, that the Windsor Holbeins (then a collection bound together in form of a book) were brought to light.
The author’s description in parentheses ‘then a collection bound together in form of a book’ is contradicted and in dispute for reasons now to be explained and made clear. You may conceivably decide that the Windsor Holbeins described by K. T. Parker as ‘a collection bound together in form of a book’, may be termed and named a ‘collection’. However, I have to draw attention that there is no evidence that the so-called ‘collection’ consisted of a book with sewn and joined pages, as one might expect, neither is there evidence of the person or persons who ‘collected’ them, nor evidence that the pictures were found laid flat in a file by the last person to handle them. A collection ‘bound together in form of a book’ was probably, almost certainly, a rolled up bundle of drawings and manuscripts “bound” up with a ribbon of silk or linen. We will revert to it later.
75. K. T. Parker:
This familiar anecdote, nevertheless, has been romanticized and misrepresented, and needs to be seen afresh in its true perspective. The fact is that Queen Caroline found far more than she knew, in other words that she discovered far less than she found. For the contents of the bureau was not merely the one priceless treasure which concerns us here, but included the no less celebrated book of drawings by Leonardo, and many more besides by various masters.
The present reader may conceivably decide K. T. Parker obscures the true perspective he himself romanticizes and misrepresents by leaving a ‘hang-out’ between his conjectures and the documented fact that the Leonardo items in the royal collection were identified on 1 September 1660 by the famous Dutch scholar Christiaan Huyghens. 19 Factually, it was known by Queen Caroline’s predecessor, English-born Queen Mary II (1662-1694) and probably, almost certainly, by the successor German-born Queen Caroline that the Leonardo drawings and manuscripts found in the bureau at Kensington Palace were NOT Holbein drawings and manuscripts. This documentary evidence of the early identification by Huyghens of the Leonardo items is recorded in the royal accounts and has been known for centuries. I will return to this again. (See Note #17 ‘hang-out’)
76. For the present and to demonstrate further the odd alignment by K. T. Parker of his published and provable fiction on the one hand and the unmistakable known and undoubted facts of royal history established beyond any possible measure of doubt on the other, the text continues as follows:
What Queen Caroline found was not a single item, mislaid or forgotten, but a collection, dating back to Stuart times, of considerable size and diversity.
First, I have to draw attention to the ‘provable fiction’ in the above statement. The collection items found by Queen Caroline in 1727 and identified by K.T. Parker ‘dating back to Stuart times’ do not date back to Stuart times. In this connection and merely from direct examination of the clothes of the sitters, the pictures date back to Tudor times (1485-1603). This is unmistakable and beyond any possible shadow of doubt. Did K. T. Parker make a simple error of fact in his manuscript that managed to escape the eagle eyes of the readers and publishing editors at Phaidon? On the other hand, Queen Caroline and her advisors held in their hands, presumably, the sketches of the queens of Henry VIII and other drawings of the most famous intellectual and his family in the reign of Henry VIII, Sir Thomas More, who had invited Holbein to England and introduced him to the royal court. There was more than one sketch by Holbein of Henry VIII’s famous courtiers: for instance, Sir Henry Guildford, King’s Champion and Comptroller of the Royal Household, easily recognizable in his large portrait in oils in the royal collection, again by Holbein, which somehow returned from the Lumley collection to the royal collection at about this time. I will return to this again.
77. If we rely on the word of K. T. Parker: NIET positive evidence, which may be fake, suggests the Leonardo items were not identified in a collection of considerable size and diversity in 1727. NIET negative evidence, which cannot be fake, points to an inescapable alternative option based on the undoubted documentary evidence in Paragraph 75 above: the Leonardo items were unknowingly identified as Holbein items in 1727. Or, a second option derived from option number one: the Leonardo items were knowingly mis-identified as Holbein items in 1727, meriting further investigation. For the present, the text continues:
Among the miscellaneous MSS, in the British Museum is an inventory of the reign of George II listing these ‘Books of drawings and Prints in the Buroe of His Majesty’s Great Closset at Kensington,’ and though it could be argued that not all the items mentioned in it were necessarily there in 1727, it is yet more than probable that such was the case.
I have to draw attention that following the death of Holbein in 1543 there is no mention of the Holbein drawings in the 1547 inventory of Crown effects (See: W. A. Shaw, Three Inventories of Pictures in the Collections of Henry VIII and Edward VI. 1937.) This omission in the three inventories probably, almost certainly, concerns hitherto unsuspected matters of state concerning Holbein. In this connection, it has only come to light in the last century that Holbein encrypted personal and political information in his paintings and drawings and from the decrypts we learn for the first time of the secret war between the legal heirs represented by the Tudor crowned kings Henry VII and Henry VIII and the rightful heirs represented by the uncrowned York kings, Edward V, also known as Sir Edward Guildford, and after his death, by his younger brother, Richard, Duke of York, also known as Dr. John Clement. If we want just one safe and simple reason for the secrecy surrounding the royal acquisition of the Holbein items, this will do. If we want another, the Duke of York married Thomas More’s adopted daughter, Margaret Giggs. More was “father-in-law” of the rightful heir to the throne of England and the legal heir knew it and Holbein knew it.
78. I must divert for just one minute more to draw attention that in the known manner of national security agencies worldwide the letters and papers of a suspect are taken away from the suspect’s home or office and examined for evidence of treasonable activity. In Holbein’s case and immediately following his death, NIET negative evidence suggests his letters and papers including his goods and chattels were taken away for examination by officials seeking to incriminate Holbein’s friends of High Treason or the so-called ‘misprision of treason’. In this connection, it has been known for centuries that although Holbein had friends who were among some of the greatest letter writers of the sixteenth century – for instance, More and Erasmus -- not one letter addressed to Holbein has been found. There is no known letter to Holbein either from his wife or children, or from a friend, suggesting extreme censorship associated with Top Secret investigations under oppressive regimes over a substantial period of time. Perhaps even more oddly, no-one to-date has reported finding a letter FROM Holbein addressed to the King, friends or family. This remains for assessment. For the present, I shall say Holbein left personal and political “Letters from the Artist” in his paintings for posterity and this was done at great risk to his life since with much less risk he could have left his remarkable story buried safe in the ground as others have done throughout history, sometimes in shorthand code like Oliver Cromwell’s secretary, for someone to find at a later date.
79. In this connection, investigation of the provenance of each one of the Holbein paintings and drawings in the royal collection today shows us the names of certain royal friends and supporters who kept Holbein items into the next century: for instance, the Lumley family. From which it follows that tracking the Holbein items on their roundabout journey from which they eventually returned once more into royal possession, one might expect the Holbein items to be listed separately following the alleged identification of the Leonardo items in 1760, which is precisely what happened in the retrospective inventory of the reign of George II. The pieces of the Holbein puzzle 184 years after his death now begin to fall into place. Similarly, the pieces of the Leonardo puzzle 241 years after Leonardo’s death also begin to fit and we see the outline of the truly surprising picture of their NIET conjectured true provenance against a background of their untrue official provenance. For instance, the broken chain of evidence concerning the Leonardo items from 1519 onwards, as already described and made clear, is only recorded for the first time in the royal collection in 1760. We will return to it again.
80. For the present, in view of the NIET negative evidence above that the Leonardo items remained undeclared in an inventory of Crown effects until 1760, this is compelling evidence of conjectural conspiracy by the royals and collusion by their servants, knowingly and willingly, over a considerable period of time. I shall say the Holbein and Leonardo items were perhaps found in a bundle marked ‘Holbein: Not to be shown to the Defence’, or similar, which is not unknown in cases concerning the safety of the realm, and which Queen Caroline promptly ignored.
81. K. T. Parker:
So it came about that for many years more the Leonardos lay forgotten and neglected; not till early in the following reign, about 1760, were they well and truly discovered by Richard Dalton, Librarian to George III.
I have to draw attention, once more, to the odd statement of claim that the Leonardos lay forgotten and neglected until they were allegedly ‘well and truly’ discovered by Richard Dalton, Librarian to George III in or about 1760, which merits further investigation. First, what is meant by ‘well and truly discovered’?
82. You may conceivably decide that it is indeed possible for something as important as the Leonardo drawings to be forgotten and neglected after the death of the first secret guardian and keeper of the drawings. The element of secrecy surrounding the entire investigation requires a first secret keeper of the drawings after the death of Holbein. Similarly, the forgetfulness and neglect of subsequent keepers of the drawings may indeed have continued over a considerable period of time. However, if something important is forgotten one may reasonably suppose that someone at an earlier stage knew the existence of the Leonardos – and a royal historian unequivocally tells us the Leonardos were ‘well and truly discovered’ by Richard Dalton in 1760 without stopping to consider fully the broken chain of evidence from 1519 to 1760 and this major and central point of interest – who knew it first in England and when and by whom precisely was it known thereafter?
83. We may now put to one side the other Leonardo drawings and manuscripts, for just one minute, and focus on the most valuable item in the royal collection – the Leonardo cartoon. In this connection, K. T. Parker does not say openly and clearly that Richard Dalton may NOT have been the first person to know the Leonardo cartoon was in England.
84. Investigation shows that at no time, before or subsequent to 1760, did Richard Dalton confirm or deny the Leonardo cartoon was found in the Holbein bundle of drawings and that he had identified it as the Leonardo cartoon. Apparently, he was never asked.
85. This truly remarkable omission is not considered at all by K. T. Parker. Neither does he consider who may have brought the Leonardo cartoon into England. When was it brought? How much was paid for it? Was it paid for? Who authorized payment? Where is the entry in the royal accounts? Was there a written receipt? Who signed it? In fact, Parker fails to say anything truly sensible to explain the mystery leaving it open to renewed examination by others, our present and on going aim and objective.
86. In this connection, if we like simple facts, the first simple fact is that the Leonardo drawings were discovered in England. They were last recorded in France in 1519 and were found again, allegedly, 241 years later in England in 1760. This date is provably false. We may therefore reasonably assume at least one person with knowledge of the existence of the Leonardo cartoon amongst the Leonardo drawings in England sometime between 1519 and 1760. We know that K. T. Parker promotes James Dalton, which is ‘false promotion’ and Parker knew it, but we do not know beyond reasonable doubt the name of the first person nor the names of any intermediary person before James Dalton who may have known the existence of the Leonardo cartoon and hid his knowledge.
87. We know where the Leonardo cartoon was probably, almost certainly, found: in the same bureau with the Leonardo and Holbein drawings in Kensington Palace. Holbein and Leonardo were contemporaries. Both were famous. Which famous artist and contemporary of Leonardo had time and opportunity to have obtained and kept a Leonardo drawing found much later in England other than Holbein? NIET negative evidence suggests that Holbein had time, motive and opportunity to acquire the Leonardo cartoon and other drawings, the method and means of the acquisition as yet unknown, during a visit to Amboise in 1524.
88. There is more to be investigated in the on going method of inquiry. For instance, who was the person who in 1543 ordered Holbein’s workshop to be rummaged? Who ordered Holbein’s possessions, apart from some clothes and a few personal belongings, to be confiscated to the Crown? What was the name of the official responsible for attending to the gathering up of the supposed Holbein drawings and manuscripts? Who bundled the items and where were they taken? Who listed them? Where is the official list? These rummaging lists exist concerning John Clement and certain other persons under suspicion of treasonable activities at the time. K. T. Parker did not report having made search himself nor did he recommend a search in the Public Record Office and in more secret archives of Government. The inquiry may conceivably decide to recommend a thorough investigation take place at the first possible opportunity. There is more.
89. On the one hand, who might knowingly have kept one or more Leonardo drawings among drawings by Holbein, over a substantial period of time, other than Holbein? Who might have kept them in Holbein’s workshop other than Holbein? On the other hand, who might unknowingly have gathered the Leonardo items into a bundle of Holbein items, not knowing the items were by Leonardo, except the official appointed to attend to such matters after Holbein’s death? I have to draw attention that a person who knowingly keeps property belonging to another person without declaring it the property of the other person may be charged with theft. No official charge is recorded at the time. Was someone charged subsequently? The Crown was not charged. Holbein was not charged. This is slightly worrying. 18
90. By now the reader may not be surprised that although there is not a shred of evidence that Holbein may have stolen the Leonardo items, which may be fake, the NIET positive evidence points to the discovery of the Leonardo items together with the Holbein items in a bureau in Kensington Palace, which may be fake, and the NIET negative evidence points to the first person and most likely candidate to have known the Leonardo cartoon was NOT by Holbein, which cannot be fake because there is nothing to fake and therefore more reliable evidence based soundly on a balance of probability. NIET points to Holbein and that Holbein DID know: and, for the present, there is no better option to-date in our on going method of inquiry. On the other hand, we may now consider further what a royal historian has to say in his book on the same points raised and other matters of interest.
91. K.T. Parker:
Vertue’s anecdote thus assumes an altogether new complexion, and as the measure of Queen Caroline’s good fortune waxes, that of her sagacity and discernment wanes. Her complete apathy to all but the work of her great compatriot was, indeed, no less extraordinary in its way than the appreciation she bestowed so enthusiastically upon him.
I have to draw attention to the shelves containing bundled rolls of manuscripts behind the head of Sir Thomas More’s “Fool”, Henry Pattison, in Sir Thomas More and his Family at Nostell, which K. T. Parker perhaps knew. In this connection, you may conceivably decide against K. T. Parker and in favour of Queen Caroline, that when the Queen found a roll of unsigned drawings in a bureau in Kensington Palace and was told by a secretary, presumably, they were a bundle of drawings made during the time of Henry VIII by her compatriot Holbein: naturally, German-born Queen Caroline, daughter of the Margrave of Brandenberg-Anspach, was greatly pleased by her find and perhaps no less pleased that the attributed artist was a ‘Landsman’. However, to assume the queen’s ‘complete apathy to all but the work of her great compatriot’ is insulting and demeans the queen, which merits further investigation. I believe that Parker would not have risked being stripped of his knighthood by insulting a dead queen unless he was quite sure there would be no repercussions from the Palace for his cowardly attack on a person no longer able to defend her self.
92. I could go on but if the case against this odd theory presented by K. T. Parker is to be made in full and completely, the compelling NIET negative evidence is as follows and presented first of all:
NIET NEGATIVE EVIDENCE
93. Although the Leonardo cartoon is almost certainly the most valuable picture in the royal collection it is not officially mentioned until the end of the reign of George II (1727-1760) and although the Leonardo drawings today in the royal collection were found in the bureau allegedly acting as a receptacle for the royal collection of drawings in the reign of William III and Queen Mary II (1689 to 1702) and although the Holbein drawings were in fact found in the same bureau in 1727 -- there is no mention how this or the no less celebrated drawings by Leonardo were acquired, from whom and when and how much was paid and who authorized payment.
94. In The Drawings of HOLBEIN at Windsor Castle, the author fails to avoid the pitfalls of not telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and predictably collapses into twaddle before an interested and discerning audience:
The truth is that, even though the book [The so-called ‘Book’ of Holbein’s works’] is not heard of again till Queen Caroline’s time, it was meanwhile in its appropriate place, that is the bureau serving as a receptacle for the royal collection of drawings. To it, in due course, the Leonardos were added.’
95. You may conceivably decide the Holbein items may indeed have been in the bureau in Kensington Palace over a considerable period of time. However, the statement: ‘To it, in due course, the Leonardos were added’ is contradicted and in dispute. There is no discovered evidence to-date when the Leonardo items were added and K.T. Parker knew it. For those who are sensitive to this sort of thing, this is known as a limited “hang-out” and now we know it. 16
96. Furthermore, in the matter of the supposed British ‘red herring’ or ‘Norfolk capon’, known in security agency jargon as a ‘hang-out’, I have to draw attention to an undated alleged entry of expenditure in the accounts of Sir Thomas Carwarden, Master of the Revels to Edward VI (1547-1553), which may be fake:
‘Item, for a peynted booke of Mr. Hanse Holby making 6 li.’
K. T. Parker, who oddly does not appear to have checked the details of the entry on the authentic page merely notes: ‘Quoted from Losely MSS, by A. B. Chamberlain, op. cit., Vol. II, p. 244.’ I will return to it later.
97. For the present, if we follow precisely the text at this juncture, Parker refers back to the Windsor Holbeins:
For nearly a decade after 1543, the year in which Holbein died, there is nothing to tell us what became of the drawings. Nor is it easy even to bridge this interval with reasonable conjecture or plausible surmise. On the assumption, however, a fairly safe one, that at the artist’s death they were in Whitehall, on Royal premises, the possibility should not be overlooked that they were forthwith absorbed into Crown property.
The damning evidence of fact now corroborated by an outside source in an extant document reveals the Holbein items in illegal royal possession over a substantial period of time after the death of the legal owner in 1543. In this connection, as already explained and made clear, the element of secrecy has been added to the illegal royal possession, since no mention of the Holbein items is found in the 1547 inventory of Crown effects. (See. W. A. Shaw, Three Inventories of Pictures in the Collections of Henry VIII and Edward VI, published in 1937.)
98. In this connection, I have now to bring into evidence a document, the property of Lord Scarborough in 1945, showing the Holbein drawings in the possession of the Tudors until at least the death of the son of Henry VIII by Jane Seymour, Edward VI (d. 1553). The document consists of an inventory ‘of the goods of John, Lord Lumley’ (1534-1609), compiled in 1590 and states:
‘a great Booke of Pictures done by Haunce Holbyn of certyne Lordes, Ladyes, gentlemen and gentlewomen of King Henry the 8 his tyme…which booke was King Edward the 6.’
Thus when K.T. Parker claims: ‘For nearly a decade after 1543, the year in which Holbein died, there is nothing to tell us what became of the drawings’, this Lumley document proves the existence of ‘a great Booke of Pictures’ by Holbein, which was not returned to the legal heirs in Basel before the death of Edward VI (d. 1553), nor at any other time thereafter.
99. In this connection, I shall say this is conclusive proof of wrongful transfer of an illegal acquisition by the Crown to a third party.
100. On the other hand, K. T. Parker argues:
This is possible [that the Windsor items was absorbed into Crown property before 1547] but hardly probable. For, to begin with, no mention of them occurs in the 1547 inventory of Crown effects, a likely source of information had they in fact been so appropriated, and not dealt with by the artist’s executors charged with the duty of settling his estate and outstanding debts.
First, the author claims the absorption of the Windsor items into Crown property is possible but hardly probable before the death of Henry VIII, since they are not included in the 1547 inventory of Crown effects in the year the king died. Second, the author claims the 1547 inventory is ‘a likely source of information had they in fact been so appropriated, and not dealt with by the artist’s executors charged with the duty of settling his estate and outstanding debts.’ I approach each point raised in this section by K. T. Parker from a different perspective since it may not at first seem that the points raised and oddly interpreted by Parker are closely connected and interconnected and provably incorrect in substance and in fact.
101. First, the Holbein drawings were not included in the 1547 inventory following the death of Henry VIII, which was three years after the death of Holbein, because the bundle was already in secret and illegal possession of the Crown in the person of the son of Henry VIII, Edward VI.
102. Second, the Holbein drawings were taken into royal possession for personal and political reasons concerning the realm, which is explained and made clear in other drawings and paintings made by Holbein before, during and after his time in royal service. For instance, by far the largest group of sketches consists of images of the More family, now related by marriage to Henry VIII’s uncle, Richard, Duke of York, also known as Dr John Clement. The rightful heir to the throne married More’s adopted daughter, Margaret Clement (née Giggs) during the reign of the legal heir, Henry VIII, and this was known and obviously approved by the legal heir who financially supported the rightful heir by appointing John Clement a Fellow and President of the Royal College of Physicians above other more senior Fellows in a meteoric rise to eminence unique in the history of the royal college.
103. Finally, the executors named and identified by Holbein in his Will and charged with the duty of settling his estate may be deemed to have discharged fully their duty in accordance with the common law of England since a known London lawyer penned the Will, which is extant, and successfully submitted the document for Probate. The role played post mortem in the cover-up of the rightful heir by the so-called Hans of Antwerp, one of the executors named by Holbein, does not directly concern us here.
104. Finally, I have to draw attention to the remarkable conclusion of K. T. Parker, which places him directly in the path of the ordinary man on the Clapham omnibus and, predictably, like others before him, is predictably knocked down:
Furthermore, by combining the evidence of two existing records, it appears probable that they were actually purchased for the Crown under Edward VI. Between 1543 and a date roughly about 1550, the whereabouts of the drawings must be accounted a mystery, but there seems no sufficient justification for including in the list of their one-time owners the sovereign whose Court they so vividly portray.
First, the claim that ‘by combining the existence of two existing records’ it appears probable that they [the Windsor Holbeins] were actually purchased for the Crown under Edward VI’, is contradicted and in dispute. There is no entry in any royal book of accounts in Edward VI to support this claim, nor in any earlier or later subsequent book of accounts. This claim by K. T. Parker a leading expert widely acknowledged as perhaps the most authoritative in royal art history, is flatly refuted. In this connection, I have further to draw attention to K. T. Parker’s footnote (p. 18, Note 1.):
Since the above was written, an interesting passage from the Diary of Constantine Huygens [sic] has been published in the Burlington Magazine (Vol. LXXXV, 1944, p. 225). This records how Huygens, on 1 September 1690, was summoned by Queen Mary to inspect the volumes of Leonardo’s and Holbein’s drawings.’
This passage in the diary of Christiaan Huygens describes and makes clear that the Queen of England, Scotland & Ireland, Queen Mary II (1662-1694), born in St James’s Palace in London, who married William III, Prince of Orange, summoned this famous Dutch scholar, Constantine (also known as ‘Christiaan’) Huygens: ‘to inspect the volumes of Leonardo’s and Holbein’s drawings’ on 1 September 1690.
105. I have to draw attention, once more and finally, to an earlier passage in the text (p. 7):
So it came about that for many years more the Leonardos lay forgotten and neglected; not till early in the following reign, about 1760, were well and truly discovered by Richard Dalton, Librarian to George III. [See: Fine Arts Quarterly Review, Vol. 1, (1863), p. 263]
On the one hand, you may recall the alleged discovery of the Leonardos in the royal collection in or about 1760. On the other hand (See: Para 104, above), the entry in the Huygens diary shows that seventy years previous to 1760; i.e., in 1690, Huygens was summoned by Queen Mary in London: ‘to inspect the volumes of Leonardo’s and Holbein’s drawings’. How does K. T. Parker explain and what does he say of this major discrepancy of some seventy years? He doesn’t say. Who, precisely, was the discoverer of the Leonardos in the royal collection? He doesn’t say.
106. I have to draw attention that Constantine (or, ‘Christiaan’) Huygens had pointed out in his “Art of Memorizing” the importance he dutifully attached to a well trained memory, particularly in connection with “Seeds of the English Language”; and, that it should be noted in the quaint Latin of “Dechiffirere varie exercui” his aptitude and devotion to deciphering all kinds of code and idiom and who never inquired (if we believe K. T. Parker’s account and his catalogue of errors and omissions from the official record) if the fastidious Huygens examined in 1690 the Holbein pictures and the long-lost Leonardo drawings without making inquiry of someone in authority how and when they might have come into England’s royal possession? The inquiry, probably and almost certainly, may have been delicate and diplomatic. I shall say Huygens was one of the great scholars of the century. He may have seen immediately that such knowledge was dangerous and discretion was the better and safer course of action to be recorded, as one might expect from a great scholar, in one brief and pointed entry in a diary. 19
107. In conclusion, I have to draw attention to one more safe and simple fact in the matter of an alleged entry of expenditure in the accounts of a censor appointed by the king, Sir Thomas Carwarden, Master of the Revels in the reign of Edward VI (1547-1553):
Item, for a peynted booke of Mr Hanse Holby making 6 li.
The entry, as already described and made clear, is undated. It means the item is inadmissible evidence in a serious investigation and K. T. Parker knew it.
108. In this connection, you may conceivably decide that K. T. Parker was not a fool and was not foolish. We may further conceivably decide the reason a senior knight of the realm, K. T. Parker, also known as Sir Karl Parker, is willing to risk his reputation as a serious person by seizing on weak and specious argument that is easily overturned, merits further investigation. For instance: if an element of uncertainty remains, not to Edward’s ownership, but to the purchase of the drawings during Edward’s reign, the reason rightly admissible for such doubt involves a different argument from that which has up to now been supported by Parker. The author sets up a captious argument, seizing on the minor weak point and avoiding the major point, that if the entry concerning an alleged ‘peynted booke’ in the accounts of Sir Thomas Carwarden consisted in part or whole of the Windsor drawings that it would be clearly rash to conclude that the ‘peynted booke’ was identical with the ‘grete Booke’ which Parker discusses at length without any solid ground for support, as already explained and made clear, neither in substance nor in fact. There is the additional small point concerning the cost of making a book in 1553. It is not at all clear but six pounds in the sixteenth century is equivalent to many thousands of pounds today. This alleged entry by Sir Thomas Carwarden is probably, almost certainly, a “hang out”; and, as once more already explained and made clear, the argument is rejected outright since an undated entry is without merit in a serious investigation. 17
109. Ultimately, on the one hand, K. T. Parker finally agrees, without drawing any conclusion inimical to the Crown, as one might expect, that Lord Scarborough’s document shows His Lordship’s ancestor, John, Lord Lumley (1534-1609), in possession of the collection described as The Holbein “booke” for ten years and that he had inherited it at the death of his father-in-law in 1580, Henry FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel (1511-1580).
110. On the other hand, it was not at all clear to K. T. Parker how FitzAlan had become possessed of the “booke” from Edward VI, at whose Court he had officiated as Lord Chamberlain. Does Parker want us to believe the Holbein “booke” was perhaps acquired by the Lord Chamberlain illegally? The writing is sloppy and deliberately intended to be sloppy to cover the author’s discomfort when confronted by a painful fact, which is known by the man on the Clapham omnibus, that whether a gift or on loan or if it was in fact stolen, as already explained and made clear, this admitted possession of the “booke” by FitzAlan was the result of a wrongful transfer of an illegal acquisition to a third party. This was not the end of the journey of this “booke”. I will return to it again.
111. For the present I have to divert, for just one minute more, to introduce into evidence the detailed entry in the Dictionary of National Biography by William Arthur Jobson Archbold, which claims the “booke” was for some time at Nonsuch in the remarkable home and in the care of the Lords FitzAlan and Arundel of whom K. T. Parker tells his reader:
So much is certain: that the information concerning the drawings in the Lumley inventory is of a thoroughly reliable kind, coming as it does, from Henry FitzAlan, whose interest in Holbein, like that of the later Earl of Arundel, was profound.
In this connection, it is not generally known but is not unknown, that certain Holbein portraits only come to light for the first time in the next century, many years after the artist’s death, in the inventory of this same Earl of Arundel. The profound interest of the two men may have been for some other reason, personal and political, than at first imagined by K. T. Parker. A scholarly brother-in-law may have understood at least some of Holbein’s messages for posterity encrypted in the paintings and informed Lumley that possession of the “booke” was a risk to life and everything they had worked so hard to build up for themselves and their families. The “booke” was “hot”. It should be returned, at a price, to the royal descendants in Lumley’s Will. First, I offer in evidence the official Archbold entry in DNB:
In the formation of his library Lumley was probably indebted to his learned brother-in-law, Humphrey Lhuyd [sic]. He also inherited the valuable collection formed by Lord Arundel. Soon after Lumley’s death, his library was purchased by James I for his son Henry, Prince of Wales, and on his death it became part of the royal library, which was presented to the British Museum by George III.
I have to draw attention that NIET negative evidence points to the silent but observable fact that K. T. Parker does not mention any possible wrongdoing by the Tudor monarchs after the death of Holbein in 1543, the highly suspicious return of the Windsor drawings and manuscripts into royal possession in 1609; and, the odd presentation once more to a third party, the British Museum, before 1760. A wrongful transfer of an illegal acquisition by an incumbent monarch to a second or third or any other subsequent party is not diminished by the illegal acquisition being returned subsequently by the second or third or other subsequent party or a descendant of the second or third or other subsequent party to the descendant of a subsequent monarch. The crime of wrongful transfer of an illegal acquisition does not diminish with time but may be said to increase by repetition. I will return to this again
112. Finally, I conclude there is no direct or scientific evidence discovered to-date, acceptable in a court of law, that Holbein came into possession of property one time belonging to Leonardo. This scientific evidence may be available in the future by DNA profiling.
113. For the present, there is no circumstantial evidence of the manner of acquisition of Leonardo’s former property by Holbein, either legally or illegally, from a person or persons to whom it was perhaps bequeathed in Leonardo’s Will, which cannot be found and is therefore without any inheritor identified for certain, who may have sold it either directly into Holbein’s hands or through a third party.
114. Similarly, there is no evidence whatsoever of illegal acquisition by theft or stealing by finding of the Leonardo items by Holbein. These and other items may have been gifts to Holbein from friends.
115. Nonetheless, NIET positive evidence is the circumstantial evidence, which may be fake, providing Option No. 1 : Holbein is the most likely person to have brought the Leonardo items to England.
116. The NIET negative evidence suggests a second option, Option No. 2, derived from Option No. 1: that since Holbein may not have identified Leonardo’s former property in his possession during Holbein’s lifetime, or certainly not in his Will when he was dying, and did not offer a clear and compelling explanation how and when he may have come into possession of Leonardo’s former property, we may conclude because of the silence surrounding the conjectured acquisition, and you may conceivably agree -- there is one remaining compelling option and one only.
117. In order to satisfy great personal hopes and desires of status, economic rewards and psychological gratification, which were in direct competition with other great artists at home and abroad following the death of Leonardo the first Grand Master of the Renaissance -- Holbein may have allowed his friends to believe the Leonardo items acquired by Holbein were Holbein’s work and not Leonardo’s. Such professional theft and/or expert copying is not unknown in art, leaving the matter open to renewed examination.
118. Finally, lest a Holbein item may have been wrongly attributed to Leonardo, I recommend paper and ink testing of all 16th century items in the royal collection of prints and drawings in order to prove authenticity of the provenance of each item beyond any possible shadow of doubt. The investigation may find other items by Holbein’s friends in Europe, perhaps kept as treasured gifts by Holbein, which were bundled together in 1543.
119. DNA profiling is proposed, in an on going method of inquiry, with the aim and objective of providing findings of Holbein’s DNA on undoubted Leonardo items in the royal collection. These findings will be conclusive.
I have been asked to declare my allegiance and my vote is for the monarchy. Nonetheless, I have to draw attention to the lesson of history that if a monarch is corrupt -- a follower, if not corrupt already, may be corrupted by association. For instance, there is no merit in further rewarding a paid advocate with a royal badge of honour unless that person’s name has been posted for at least five years on the Internet inviting the general public to comment first and not last on the merits or demerits of the nominee pour encourager les autres. In this connection, since NIET criteria insist that for every action there is a reaction, not necessarily equal and not necessarily opposite, if monarchy is exemplary with unquenchable thirst for goodness and right doing: the people may react positively and recommend the award. Government should not merely defend democracy, but practice it!
I recommend the High Court of England accept claims from the modern descendants of Hans Holbein the Younger that the Windsor Holbeins be returned unconditionally to their rightful owners. In this connection, since Leonardo was not married and there are no known legal descendants, perhaps the British Government may decide to show itself greater in wisdom than previous governments and offer the British public, for whom the royal collection is part of Britain’s rich inheritance, the opportunity to vote on what shall happen to the Leonardo collection at present in royal possession. Lastly, I recommend the Leonardo items be offered on a rota basis by the British Government on behalf of the British public on loan to the great museums of the world and permanently available for anyone to see on the Internet. Finally, any intention to clean or restore a painting or drawing in this collection should be similarly posted for five years on the Internet showing each and every detail of the proposed cleaning and/or restoration for the peer review process and further public comment to be supervised by a highly qualified and experienced Minister for the Arts selected and appointed with all party agreement by the Lords, Commons and the People. (See: The Ambassadors, below)
In conclusion, I have to draw attention that the book under review by the present author, written by Sir Karl Parker, was published during a short period of euphoria at the conclusion of the War of 1939-1945 when the Allies were successful and monarchy led by example and was held in great esteem by the general public. Today, the British do not know which way to turn. On the one hand we see British monarchy held up by just one remaining and much respected Queen of England of the older generation and the youngest generation untried and untested. On the other hand, there is the continental model of monarchy within republicanism, which seems to be working well and is much liked. Personally, I like it and hope it will continue to flourish quietly in the bold new Europe of the 21st century.
NOTES AND REFERENCES
#1. I am investigating the provenance of some 10,000 Leonardo manuscripts and drawings, approximately, of which some 700 drawings on 60 pages and about 1000 drawings on 129 pages are in the Royal Collection at Windsor. I am similarly concerned with the apparent Holbein connection in the provenance and particularly the passage into England of the Leonardo cartoon The Virgin Mary and child, Saint Anne and the infant Saint John the Baptist, to-day in the National Gallery London.
#3. See: HOLBEIN PAINTINGS, COMPLETE EDITION, by Paul GANZ, published by Phaidon, London, 1950.)
#4. The Drawings of HOLBEIN at Windsor Castle, by K. T. Parker, published by Phaidon, London, 1945.)
The following is abstracted verbatim:
Après la mort de Léonard, les manuscrits deviennent la propriété de Francesco Melzi 6 son disciple et fidèle compagnon, dont on retrouve l'écriture, sur certains feuillets. Il est responsable du fait que ce trésor soit resté longtemps méconnu. En effet, au lieu de chercher à le publier, il se contente de le classer et de le montrer à ses proches. Nous avons la preuve que les dessins de Léonard ne furent pas tout à fait inaccessibles à ses contemporains. Alors qu'ils sont entre les mains de Melzi, ils sont examinés et décrits par Anonimo Gaddiano 7, Giorgio Vasari 8 le biographe de Léonard et par le peintre milanais Gianpoaolo Lomazzo 9 qui en parle dans son "Ideale del Tempio della pittora". Dürer 10, sans doute, les vit durant son voyage en Italie, car il en copia les principales figures, conservées à Windsor dans son "Dresden sketchbook"; il est même probable, mais cela reste contesté, que Vésale 11 ait pu voir les travaux anatomiques de Léonard. Orazio Melzi 12, héritier de F. Melzi, charge vers 1606 les frères Mazzenta 13, à qui il donne treize manuscrits, d'exposer les dessins de Léonard; cela permet à Rubens 14 de les voir. Le sculpteur officiel de la Cour d'Espagne Pompeo Leoni (1583-1608) 15 persuade Orazio de faire don des manuscrits au roi d'Espagne afin qu'il accède aux honneurs et à la dignité de Sénateur.
Translation, by the present author:
After the death of Leonardo, the manuscripts became the property of Francesco MELZI, his disciple and faithful companion, whose writing is found on certain pages. He is responsible for the fact that this treasure remained unknown for a long time. In fact, instead of seeking to publish [widely] he contented himself by sorting and showing it to close friends. We have proof that Leonardo’s drawings were not entirely inaccessible to his contemporaries. When they were in the hands of MELZI they were examined and described by Anonimo Gaddiano, Giorgio Vasari, Leonardo’s biographer, and by the Milan painter Gianpoalo Lomazzo who speaks of this in “The Ideal of Time of a Picture”. Dürer undoubtedly saw them during his visit to Italy, because he copied the principal in his “Dresden Sketchbook”; it is even probable, but remains contested, that Vésale was able to see Leonardo’s anatomical works today at Windsor. In or about 1606, Orazio MELZI, the heir of Francisco Melzi, charged the MAZZENTA brothers, to whom he had given thirteen manuscripts, to show the Leonardo drawings, which allowed Rubens to see them. The official sculptor at the Spanish court Pompeo LEONI persuaded Orazio Melzi to give his manuscripts to the king of Spain before awarded the honour and dignity of a Senator.
#6. Francisco MELZI. I have been unable to find a year and date of birth and death of Francesco MELZI. There is no record of a Will at Amboise.
#7. ‘Anonimo Gaddiano’ is not included in France’s Dictionary of Proper Names Le Robert. The name may be fake.
#8. Giorgio Vasari (Arezzo b. 1511 – Florence d. 1574) was eight years old when Leonardo died in 1519. His book Le Vite de’ piu pittori, scultori e architettori italiani was published in 1550. It follows that Vasari’s biography of Leonardo is not based on contemporary evidence from the prime source, Leonardo, but hearsay evidence from second or third sources, which is not acceptable in a serious investigation.
#9. Gianpoalo [sic] Lomazzo. The name ‘Gianpoalo’, ‘Gianpaolo’, or ‘Gianpaulo’, Lomazzo is not included by the Editors of Le Robert.
#10. Albrecht Dürer (Nuremberg, b. 1471 – ibid., d. 1528) visited Italy in 1495. The composition of his Great Crucifixion (1495) is derived from Leonardo. In 1495 Dürer is said to have spent a little time in Venice. I have to draw attention that Venice is 240 kilometres (about 150 miles) from Milan and Leonardo was in Milan. The evidence suggests Dürer visited Leonardo’s workshop in Milan in 1495 on his first visit to Italy. It is equally possible Dürer may have seen the Leonardo cartoon and Painting 779 Louvre in Milan, in 1507, on his second visit to Italy (1505-1507) following Leonardo’s return from Florence.
#11. André Vésale (Brussels, b. 1514 – Île de Zante, d. 1564) is considered the founder of modern anatomy. He was five years old when Leonardo died. Vésale studied in Louvain, Montpelier and Paris. Finally, he taught at Louvain and then in Italy. The probability that Vésale saw Leonardo’s anatomical drawings in or about 1526 in Antwerp when Holbein was en route to England and Vésale was 12 years old is very low. However, it is conceivable Vésale may have seen the anatomical drawings in 1532 when Holbein was passing through Flanders on his second visit to England, since the minimum age of entry to the Old Catholic University of Louvain was sixteen years in 1532, when Vésale was sixteen, and Holbein may have shown the drawings to a friend or friends in Louvain when Vésale was present. Accused of having dissected a live man, he had to make a sinner’s pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On his return his ship was wrecked in a storm on the island of Zante and he died.
#12. Orazio MELZI. I have been unable to find a place and year of birth and death of Orazio MELZI. There is no record of a Will at Amboise.
#13. The Mazzenta brothers: The names are not included in Le Robert.
#14. Peter Paul Rubens (Siegen, b. 1577 – Antwerp, d. 1640). It is difficult to imagine Rubens was not influenced by the work of Leonardo when he visited Italy (1600–1608) and Spain (1637–1638), which influence he passed on to other painters of talent: Van Dyck and Jordaens in Flanders and the French “Rubénistes”. However Rubens also visited England (1690-1634). I have to draw attention that it is entirely conceivable Rubens may have been invited to examine the collection of prints and drawings and might have recognized the long lost Leonardo cartoon and manuscripts bundled with the Holbein sketches in a bureau in Kensington Palace many years before the items were discovered by Queen Caroline in 1727. Rubens and other greater and lesser men and women before and after him, presumably, said nothing. The French say: ‘Il n’y a rien que la verité qui blesse’ and the risk of royal wrath at the truth resulting from an inquiry into how precisely the Leonardo items came into England was perhaps too great.
#15. Pompeo Leone (1583-1608) was the official sculptor at the Spanish court and, conjecturally, a paid advocate on behalf of the MAZZENTA brothers, who were in commerce, enabling them to approach the king with an offer HH did not refuse.
#16. K. T. Parker discusses conflicting accounts of a writing cabinet, which he believes could not possibly have held the books listed in an inventory in George II’s reign, which is peripheral to our present investigation.
#17. ‘hang-out’: this is security agency jargon. ‘Marchetti had defined a limited hang-out as a partial non-damaging, irrelevant concession used by the CIA to deflect attention from the central question.’ (Plausible Denial, by Mark Lane, published by Plexus, London, Note 2, p. 141).
#18. The common law of England.
I have to draw attention that to acquire the property of a deceased person requires written or some other compelling evidence that the property was a gift or purchase and the date and the circumstances when and where the gift or purchase was made. This is the custom and rule in the common law of England. To resist is to risk fine and possible imprisonment. The only exception where property may pass to an inheritor without further juridic formality is where the property is legally the property of the deceased and the inheritor is the legal inheritor. I have further to draw attention that the common law is the same rule of law for a royal and there is no exception.
#19 Christiaan Huygens: (b. Den Haag. 1629 – d. ibid. 1695). This famous Dutch physicist, mathematician and astronomer is the author of the first great treatise on dynamics and the first complete examination of the calculations of probability theory (with Pascal and Fermat in 1654).
#20 Sir Richard Southwell and the Earl of Arundel connection: There exist two portraits of Sir Richard Southwell attributed to Holbein; the first, in the National Portrait Gallery, London; the second in the Uffizi, Florence. Both are dated ‘10th July 1535’ (four days after the execution of Sir Thomas More) and both contain encrypted personal and political information. A preparatory study in coloured chalks with the inscription “Rich: Southwell Knight” is in the Royal Collection at Windsor. The history of the Uffizi painting tells us that in February 1621 the Earl of Arundel sent this portrait to the Duke of Tuscany [Giglioli, “RA”, 1960] but the Duke died before the painting arrived in Florence [Crino, “RA” 1960], where it has remained. Factually, Arundel sent out of the country the portrait of one of England’s richest men who enjoyed the favours of the sovereign who accepted £1000 from Southwell (perhaps £500,000 today) whose name was in fact removed from an indictment after he had been found guilty of a murder in Norfolk and was later made one of the executors of The Royal Will. Southwell is better known to More scholars for the disgraceful part he played at the trial of Sir Thomas More in Westminster Hall in 1535. Briefly, and Holbein may be referring to this second “murder” in the portrait, an admission from Southwell under cross-examination that he did not hear and could not possibly have failed to overhear an allegedly treasonable admission by More, which More had flatly denied, in a discussion between Richard Rich and Thomas More on the greatest cause célèbre of the day in the narrow confines of Mores’ cell in the Tower -- might have saved More’s life. When invited by the Court to confirm or deny the allegation, the monstrous coward Southwell said he could not help the court since he was too busy at the time attending to the packing up of More’s books to pay attention to anything else. In conclusion, there is no evidence of a commission of either portrait by Sir Richard Southwell. The NIET Positive Evidence, which may be fake, suggests: 1) The Southwell paintings were Holbein’s private property and cryptic information in these portraits was intended for posterity. 2) The alleged second murder was the “murder” of Holbein’s friend and former patron Thomas More. 3) The pictures were not returned to Holbein’s legal heirs in Basel in 1543 but were wrongfully confiscated by the Crown and illegally “transferred” to FitzAlan and Arundel who kept them at Nonsuch until the next century. Further general information is available from Webmasters Raphaëlle et Gilles DEBREGEAS at http://www.renaissance-amboise.com
The author sets out to investigate the provenance of the Leonardo cartoon and Leonardo’s notebook. First, why did they come to England? How did they come to England? From where and when did they come? Who brought them, by what means, with whose assistance? Second, how did they come into royal possession? The best fitting hypothesis to-date suggests Hans Holbein the Younger the most likely candidate who acquired the Leonardo items after the death of the artist in France and brought them to England where following his own death they were taken into royal possession. We test this in an ongoing method of inquiry. For the present, the matters of fact described and made clear concerning Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) and Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) may at first seem unrelated and unconnected. Nonetheless, investigation shows these matters are neither unrelated nor unconnected but running in a parallel series of events in continental Europe until they become joined and inextricably enmeshed and intertwined in England. The likelihood of this happening by chance is very, very low.
THE LESLAU CONJECTURE outlines the on going background history described and made clear in this final episode in the life and times of Hans Holbein the Younger at www.holbeinartworks.org à FAQs FOR YOUNGSTERS.
Revised √ 030601
Last revision 040501
#3. “THE AMBASSADORS”
(National Gallery London)
Susan Foister, Ashok Roy and Martin Wyld
National Gallery Publications, London, 1997
published to accompany an exhibition at the National Gallery,
5 November 1997 to 1 February 1998
Distributed by Yale University Press
¶1. ‘Without a correct approach to a problem it is most unlikely we will arrive at a correct solution.’ (NIET) For those interested in problem solving, the first aim and objective is to find a correct approach. The NIET method tortures a theory until it fits the facts – all the facts, without exception, positive and negative, using tried and tested criteria in an ongoing method of inquiry. This method-correct solution, however much our opponents may fiddle around with the facts, and I choose my words deliberately, is based soundly on a balance of probability.
¶2. For the present, I have to draw attention that there are two methods of approach to any problem – and two only. One is to make a theory fit the facts. The other, the “incorrect” and unacceptable method, is to twist and distort the facts to fit a theory.
¶3. In this connection, I have to draw attention that certain experts at the National Gallery London have twisted and distorted certain remarkable and observable facts to fit an “incorrect” theory. Later, when you have had time to consider the evidence, you will be asked to decide either, if there has been a gross misinterpretation of fact, unknowingly, due to negligence; or, perhaps knowingly, a deliberate attempt at misinformation. Since these are the only two options and there is no other option in a serious investigation, you should not be at all surprised by this request. The National Gallery experts are merely paid advocates -- not judge and jury. Ordinary people make the truly great decisions.
§I THE “SKULL”, SO-CALLED, IN THE AMBASSADORS
I HAVE TO DRAW ATTENTION THAT THE SO-CALLED “SKULL” IS NOT A SKULL BUT A CRANIUM -- THOSE HUMAN BONES WHICH ENCLOSE THE BRAIN (AS DISTINGUISHED FROM THOSE OF THE FACE AND JAWS). (See: “cranium” Oxford English Dictionary)
§I.1 In this connection, the National Gallery is invited to provide substantive proof of the following statement, which is contradicted and in dispute:
We can now be virtually certain of what Holbein intended to paint, which was not the case before. In particular, much of Holbein’s distorted skull, where some old damage to the paint surface had occurred, had been covered by early restoration, and what Holbein originally painted is now revealed. (HOLBEIN’S AMBASSADORS, p. 13)
We will return to this later.
§I.2 The National Gallery is invited to provide samples of ‘original paint’ taken from the picture; in particular, the original paint before cleaning and before restoration of the so-called “skull”.
‘A more specialist viewer may want to know what is original paint and what is not. The full photographic record, particularly the photographs taken at the after cleaning/before restoration stage, documents the condition of the paint layer. (Plate 106)’ (NG. Page 95. Col. 1. THE CONSERVATION OF THE AMBASSADORS “Restoration”)
We will return to this later.
§I.3 The National Gallery is invited to publish a response, as requested in §I.1 & §I.2 above, including the documentary, photographic and scientific evidence requested below and hereinafter:
¶ 1. Infrared vidicon photographs of the so-called “skull” before cleaning and restoration.
¶ 2. The documentary record of tiny paint samples removed from the surface of the “skull” prior to cleaning and restoration of the “skull” and after cleaning and restoration of the “skull” in order to investigate the materials used by the artist and later restorers; paint samples to be mounted in clear polyester resin and carefully orientated to reveal the paint layers in cross section.
¶ 3. The photographic record of the microscopic examination of the cross sections to enable observation of individual pigment particles.
¶ 4. The record of the pigment analysis by microchemical techniques supplemented by X-ray microprobe analysis.
¶ 5. Confirmation of the medium in the upper paint layers.
We will return to this later.
§II “THE SKULL” AND SIR THOMAS MORE
§II.1 I have to draw attention to the Dutch scholar, Erasmus of Rotterdam, who boldly punned on More’s name in Encomium Moriae (‘In Praise of Folly’ or ‘In Praise of More’), which Erasmus expected his knowledgeable friends to know. Since Holbein was a friend of both scholars, over a substantial period of time, a skull (‘tête de mort’, in French), may be interpreted as a true homophonic substitution (a pun) on More’s name (‘Tête de More’). However, since the painted ‘tête de mort’ is not an anatomically correct human skull in The Ambassadors; and, since the unconventional alternative ‘Tête de More’ has linguistic equivalents that make sense in Holbein’s secret method of communication -- the known history of people, things and ideas invented by More in the most widely read book of its day Utopia -- the reader should not be too disturbed by a quick glance into the shadowlands of secret writing. You will have help.
The Ambassadors before cleaning and restoration
HOLBEIN, Hans the Younger
JEAN DE DINTEVILLE AND GEORGES DE SELVE
(“THE AMBASSADORS”) 1314
Oak. 81½ x 82 ½ ins.
Published by order of the Trustees
The National Gallery
Crown Copyright reserved
PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY HARRISON & SONS LTD
HIGH WYCOMBE, BUCKS.
The “skull” before cleaning pre-1996.
The “skull” after cleaning and restoration 1996-97.
(NG. Plate 49. Page 49)
The rebus: ‘not with words but with things’ pre- 1996.
More’s head – (‘Tête de More’, or ‘tête de mort’ : a ‘skull’, in French) – gave birth to – (The placenta and umbilical cord) – The Utopians,descendants of the Abraxa – (The bare-legged man, ‘a-brakae’ or ’without trousers’, in Greek – Dr. Anemolius – (The ‘anus in flatus’ : ‘anemos’ means ‘wind’, in Greek, external and internal) : a poetic ‘Dr. Windbag’, presumably, at the court of Henry VIII – The Colonists – (The annular muscles of the colon) : the people who first colonised Utopia – The Cyermerni – (The jawbone of a dog) : the articulating process of the dog’s lower jaw; notably, the condyle and the neck, is unmistakable. This may refer to the Ancient Greeks who left food outside their homes on the night before New Moon, an offering to Hecate to stop dogs howling on the so-called “The Dog Days”. – The Utopian capital, Amaurotum – (The shadow : ‘amauros’, in Greek) – The river Anydrus -- (The principal river of Utopia : from ‘a’--‘not’ and ‘hudor’ – ‘water’, in Greek). The man’s bare legs are immersed in water.
§III COMPUTER MANIPULATION
§III.1 I have to draw attention to a total population of computer images in the NG publication. Each one of these computer images shows the “skull” after cleaning and restoration. There is one computer image before cleaning and restoration. This is NIET negative evidence of uneven handling of evidence with an end in view. We will return to this later. For the present, we show the actual manipulation of the evidence in the “skull” after cleaning and restoration at the National Gallery in 1996.
§III.2 I have to draw attention that the “skull” below has been manipulated on the National Gallery computer to simulate its supposed and alleged original creation by Holbein using an elongated rectangular grid. The resulting black and white photographic image is not fully resolved.
(NG. Plate 53 and Note. Page 52)
§III.3 I have similarly to draw attention that the “skull” has been manipulated on the National Gallery computer to simulate its supposed and alleged original state created by Holbein using a trapezoid grid with irregular intervals. The resulting image is convincingly resolved.
(NG. Plate 54 and Note. Page 52)
§III.4 I have further to draw attention to the “skull” manipulated on the computer to simulate its supposed and alleged original state created by Holbein using a glass cylinder, a distortion equivalent to a rectangular grid with intervals extending at irregular intervals from a central point. The resulting image is not fully resolved.
(NG. Plate 55 and Note. Pages 52 & 53)
§III.5 I have to draw attention that in each of the Plates – 53, 54 and 55 – the image of the “skull” has been manipulated on the computer to simulate its alleged original creation by Holbein. In fact, the particular items under review here, the placenta, umbilical cord, cranium, nose cavity, jawbone and teeth, is the outcome of creative restoration by the last restorer, convincing to some but unconvincing to anatomists. From direct inspection, and precisely as we should expect, the computer provides convincing evidence of the restorer’s faked anatomically correct human skull. (See: model skull below)
The anatomically correct model skull
(NG. Plate 109 and Note. Page 94)
§III.6 In this connection, I have further to draw attention to the Note beside Plate 109, concerning the lighting of the “skull”:
‘Anatomical model of a skull photographed under the same lighting as Holbein’s skull to assist in the reconstruction of the nose bone.’
I have to draw attention that since each one of the shadows in the painting, from direct inspection, is from an inconsistent light source, you may conceivably decide that the Note beside Plate 109: ‘Anatomical model of a skull photographed under the same lighting as Holbein’s skull to assist in the reconstruction of the nose bone’, merits further investigation. I will return to this later. For the present, I draw attention to one or two more statements in the text which are contradicted and in dispute:
§III.7 I have to draw attention to NG. Page 53. Column 1. Line 8.
‘A simple method of producing a distortion which would become legible on viewing the image from one side, involved transferring an image square by square to an elongated rectangular grid.’
I shall say that Hans Holbein, perhaps the world’s cleverest painter, constructed the alleged skull imaginatively with a particular end in view, which enabled him to apply the newly discovered rules of perspective in the creation of his pictorial elements with linguistic equivalents, which make sense, relevant to known history.
§III.8 I have to draw attention to NG. Page 53. Column 1, Line 13.
‘However, when Holbein’s image is refashioned in this way with the aid of computerised image-processing techniques, the resulting picture of a skull is unconvincing and indicates that Holbein cannot have constructed this anamorphosis using this simplified method. (Plate 53)’
(NG. Plate 53. Page 52)
I have once more to draw attention that Plate 53, as already explained and made clear in §III.1 above, is a photographic reproduction of a computerised image of the “skull” in The Ambassadors after cleaning and restoration. The resulting image of the alleged human eye orbits, nose cavity and jawbone is unconvincing to an expert. Since the resulting picture is unconvincing, indicating that Holbein cannot have constructed this anamorphosis using this simplified method (in §III.6 above), we should not be at all surprised that a provably incorrect theory and unsystematic methods and inappropriate criteria engaged in a wrong approach using a computer to manipulate factual evidence which is there now and was not there before cleaning and restoration, is contradicted and in dispute.
§III.9 Compare the NG photographic image of the “skull” before cleaning (Plate 107. Page 94) and the NG computerised image of a reconstructed nose bone and jawbone of a dog or wolf after restoration, the latter manipulated to resemble a human jawbone and teeth. (Plate 53. Page. 52)
‘The skull before cleaning showing the old restoration of the nose bone: photographed from the side to correct the distortion.’ (“Stages in the reconstruction of the skull”. Plate 107 and Note, Page 94)
(NG. Plate 107. Page 94) (NG. Plate 53. Page 52)
§III.10 I have to draw attention to the distortion in the National Gallery photographic reproduction of the manipulated correction of the perspective in the anamorphosis of the alleged human right eye orbit, nose bridge and jawbone before 1996 cleaning and restoration (NG. Plate 107. P. 94. Below left) with the clean and undistorted perspective correction in the 1976 Holbein Foundation photographic image (below right).
The National Gallery image distorts the authentic anus in flatus, which is flipped, angled and compressed until it resembles an alleged human right orbit of the “skull”. The facts have been manipulated to fit a theory, which is contradicted and in dispute. The Holbein Foundation manipulates, twists and tortures a controversial National Gallery theory until it fits the facts, all the facts, positive and negative, without exception. The Holbein Foundation examination, investigation and conclusion is based soundly on a balance of probability. We will return to this again.
§III.11 The National Gallery photographic method, as described and made clear above, is no guarantee of achieving a more convincing resolution of the distortion in perspective before cleaning and restoration. The National Gallery computer method is only useful to achieve a more convincing resolution of the distortion in perspective of the “skull” after cleaning and restoration
‘A more sophisticated method used intervals in the squaring process spaced further and further apart and a trapezoid grid to take account of the angle of viewing and achieve a more convincing resolution of the distortion in perspective.’ (NG. “DEATH AND DISTORTION”. See: Page 53,
line 17. Re. Plate 53 and Note, page 52)
§III.12 Finally, when the elongated image of the “skull” is subjected to manipulations after cleaning and restoration; namely, a more sophisticated method using intervals in the squaring process spaced further and further apart and, as already explained and made clear in the NG publication, a trapezoid grid to take account of the angle of viewing and achieve a more convincing resolution of the distortion in reverse, and the result is a perfectly drawn skull, which is simply not true, the image with which the computer operator must have begun, similarly cannot have been a true image but, as described above, a manipulated image before and after cleaning and restoration. (NG. “DEATH AND DISTORTION”. See: Page 53, line 21. Re. Plate 54 and Note, page 52)
If I cannot tell apart
-- A Fragrance –
From a hearty fart.
Then the task may not seem heinous
To fake an orbit from an anus
§IV IN THE MATTER OF THE ALLEGED “SKULL”
§IV.1 Since the findings of the National Gallery are contradicted and in dispute, leaving the case open to renewed examination at an advanced level of scrutiny, I have to draw attention to a matter of concern to the Lords, Commons and People of the United Kingdom: the accountability at all times of their public servants. It will not take long.
I have to draw attention to a carbon copy of a typewritten letter, dated 18 April 1978, addressed to the Director of the National Gallery, M. V. Levey, requesting a meeting to discuss my photographs and overlay of the skull in The Ambassadors enclosed in the letter packet with a short aide-mémoire describing and making clear the cryptosystem in the painting and how the elements of Holbein’s secret method of communication are interpreted in a systematic and ongoing method of investigation in this and seventy-three other drawings and paintings. I received a reply immediately, dated 19 April 1978, signed ‘Michael Levey’, thanking me for my letter and the photographs connected with my research on Holbein’s Ambassadors. The letter concluded: ‘The German pictures in this Gallery are the concern of my colleague Alistair Smith to whom I am passing your letter and material.’ Not having received a reply from Alistair Smith to my telephone calls, which were not returned, I wrote once more to Michael Levey (3 May 1978), informing him that I had not heard from Alistair Smith. I offered a list of UK names offering support: Lord St Oswald, Dame Katherine Macmillan, Professor Doctors G. Aylmer, B. Dobson and J. F. A. Mason. There has been no reply to-date. Unfortunately, the National Gallery authority versus evidence argument published two decades later is unacceptable. I therefore request the National Gallery to co-operate in my investigation, which is ongoing, recommended by the former vice-Chancellor of the University of Oxford, the late Sir John Masterman, whose advice to ignore all rebuffs and to carry on with my work results in this appeal to-day to the National Gallery and their sponsors -- that the alleged skull in the painting be restored to the pre-1996 image. (Holbein Foundation Photograph. Negative No. 4419, McPhie, 1976)
§IV.2 Finally, there must be a proper and effective checking procedure and the inquiry will want to know what was the system for checking: was it a good one and was it operating properly in the National Gallery investigation of The Ambassadors. I have argued that any method that omits tried and tested criteria over a substantial period of time, and/or fails to follow systematic verification and falsification of all known evidence without exception, positive and negative, without offering a best fit hypothesis based soundly on a balance of probability in an ongoing method of inquiry, is an inherently inadequate procedure. In this connection, you may conceivably decide that the evidence presented here is sufficient to sow the seeds of doubt required to justify and make possible a multi-disciplinary and rightly open minded re-opening of the case without waiting for another century. For the present, Part Two of this article The Ambassadors, “The Objects in the Painting: a cryptologic assessment”, will be published on the Internet at www.holbeinartworks.org For further information and date of publication, Clickà The Jack Leslau NEWSLETTER & NOTICEBOARD.
(Last revision 020501)
The Objects in the Painting: a cryptologic assessment
¶ 1. The reader may not be surprised that the emeritus professor of the History of Philosophy and the Exact Sciences at the University of Groningen, The Netherlands, J. D. North, agrees with me on many points about the National Gallery analysis of the anamorphosis of the “skull” in The Ambassadors, which he finds ‘surprisingly naïve.’ Referring to the general restoration, North adds:
‘However, I am not upset by NG’s restoration work, give or take a few uncertainties and the more I look into the matter, the more I admire their procedural principles, and I am sure that the scientific record you allude to has been kept – note the restoration account, which as far as can be judged justified the main points on which my own interpretation rests. While the new painting might not be perfect, neither was the pre-restoration version (i.e. the old badly restored version.)’1
¶ 2. In this connection, the reader may recall my methodologically correct habit of a lifetime, as already described and made clear, that when someone says something interesting, I neither believe nor disbelieve what is being said. I merely REMEMBER what was said and check it out, carefully and thoroughly. I heartily commend this tried and tested NIET method of investigation to the reader, with compliments.
¶ 3. For instance, the reader may not be surprised that I intend to scrutinize closely each one of the procedural principles of the National Gallery. The impression is that we will have to consider carefully and we must also look for a motive and explanation of one particular practice of the National Gallery; namely, not to publish an alleged scientific proof. For instance, the scientific record justifies, as far as can be judged, the main points on which North’s own interpretation rests. We will return to this later. For the present, let us suppose North’s interpretation is not based on all the available evidence. Let us suppose there are errors of omission and commission. In this connection, the National Gallery has not published the restoration record of:
(a) The infrared vidicon examination of the under drawing on the primary paint applications of the alleged badly restored “skull”.
(b) The carbon or chalk medium used by the artist on the primary paint applications under the “skull”.
(c) The microscopic examination of the sequence of pre-restoration top layers of varnish and pigment set in a linseed oil medium comprising the “skull”.
¶ 4.This step-by-step procedure entails an unbroken chain of evidence. The National Gallery has not provided an unbroken chain of evidence. This is unacceptable in a serious investigation. There is a case to answer that the so-called “the skull” seen today in The Ambassadors is not the same “the skull” seen in the National Gallery over a considerable period of time restored to pristine condition: our central point here. Photographic evidence shows, unmistakably, a “changeling.” This is slightly worrying. (Click: §II)
¶ 5. Finally, in the light of ongoing public interest in the “new” discoveries in the Holbein oeuvre, I have been invited to review Professor North’s latest book (The Ambassadors’ Secret, Hambledon and London, 2002) testing each one of the major points raised and perhaps one or two minor points on which North’s interpretation rests.
§V THE DECRYPTS IN THE AMBASSADORS:
§V.1 The reader may conceivably decide it is no longer possible to sit back and admire the awesome technical brilliance of Hans Holbein the Younger without being attentive to factual elements in an end-on relationship with contra-factual elements in many of his portraits -- signal intelligence incriminating the artist and his sitters in treason and other treasonable activities punishable by death. In this connection, Holbein, as already explained and made clear, left personal and political information for posterity, posted in a series of 73 cryptic part-“messages” discovered to-date ‘non verbis sed rebus’ – ‘not with words but with things’. Does Professor North agree with me, when considering Holbein and the world of the renaissance, that Holbein’s secret history is central to understanding the history of England during the Tudor dynasty? We shall see North’s response in the course of our examination.
§V.2 In this connection, I have to draw attention to a series of articles about Professor North and his book on the so-called “The Ambassadors”. First, I have to turn back the journalistic clock to an article written by Steve Farrar in The Sunday Times of 9 August 1998, “Holbein’s master code”…‘The painting’s Good Friday symbolism has been ignored’. Farrar summarises North’s work more than three years before publication of his book:
‘North found that from this position [a point off to the centre right of the picture] a line could be drawn upwards to the eye of Christ on the tiny crucifix barely visible in the top left corner, passing through de Dinteville’s right eye [sic], the northern point on the horizon of the celestial globe behind his arm and the “27” mark on a device called a quadrant.’
The Sunday Times, 9 August 1998.
§V.3 Farrar continues:
‘Both the skull and crucifix lines are at 27 degrees to the horizontal, a number that North realised is repeated throughout the painting. It just happens to be the angle the sun would have been above London at 4 pm on Good Friday in 1533.’
I will return to this again.
§V.4 For the present, North is reported to have told Steve Farrar in 1998 that when he plotted details of the horoscope for 4 pm, April 11 1533, he was surprised to see the planets Saturn and Jupiter form the shape of a crucifix with the horizon:
‘North had discovered a similar pattern in a horoscope he had plotted from one of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, which he dated to Good Friday, 1400. It later emerged that Holbein had only finished the title page illustration for the first English edition of Chaucer’s stories the previous year possibly using it as inspiration for that particular trick. “ We are dealing with people who believed body and soul in astrology– it would have been natural to talk about the astrological significance of that moment.
I will return to this again.
§V.5 For the present, we now move forward four years to an article accompanied by the same illustration, presumably, as Steve Farrar’s article in 1998: “Is this coded secret of the ambassadors?” “New analysis reveals the message in Holbein’s masterpiece” by Tom Robbins in The Sunday Times (13 Jan 2002). Robbins writes:
‘John North says the skull is a key that shows the painting contains a religious message.’
Firstly, Robbins conjectures a coded secret of the ambassadors. What, in fact, is this coded secret? Is this allegedly coded secret really secret? On the other hand, John North alleges that the “the skull” is a key that shows the painting contains a religious message. What, in fact, is this alleged religious message? How does “the skull” provide a key that unlocks an alleged secret religious message in the painting? In this connection, North drew a line from the plane of the skull and found it was 27 degrees above the horizontal where it met another line at the same angle (27 degrees) above the horizontal and found it led to the eye of Jesus in a partly hidden crucifix at the top left of the painting.
(ibid. p. 147)
§V.6 Robbins writes:
‘Not only does this draw attention to the crucifix, but at 4 pm on 11 April 1533, the sun would have been at 27 degrees elevation over London.’
I have to draw attention that the sun at 27 degrees elevation above the horizon in London will be found coincidentally in places on the same time circle as London during daylight hours, requiring a known latitude and longitude and precise measurement at a known time to ensure the calculation is for London.
§V.7 According to Professor North:
‘The time that would be deduced from a naïve reading of the shadow on the instrument [the cylinder sundial on the top shelf in the painting] (which as we have said is not set up correctly) is about 8:15 a.m. or 3:45 p.m. (to an accuracy of say five minutes). (ibid, p. 91)
‘Naïve reading?’ I have to draw attention to a contra-indicating problem with North’s theory. The latitude cannot be calculated correctly for London or Polisy from the sun’s apparent elevation and direction in The Ambassadors, since each one of the shadows depicted in the painting has, from direct observation and as already explained and made clear, an inconsistent light source.
§V.8 According to Professor North:
‘One cannot be precise about the time of the act of painting, but is will soon be shown that everything in the picture that points to a date points to one date only, 11 April 1533.’
I have to draw attention to page 91 of North’s book where the author tells the reader, for the first time, there are alternative dates to be considered other than 11 April 1533:
‘The position of the gnomon in relation to the signs is of crucial importance to us for two reasons: First, it reveals that the date was almost certainly meant to be 11 April 1533. There are alternatives to be considered…’ [My italics]
(a) The pre-publication reporting by Robbins and Farrar, errors and omissions excepted, is confirmed in substance and in fact in North’s book.
(b) North’s suggestion that the so-called “skull” leads to clues which point to a particular date and time is contradicted and in dispute. North misses the thrust of the artist and his odd memento mori.
(c) Since the crucifix is depicted in the background, the religious significance of The Ambassadors, which North relates to the 1500th anniversary to the Crucifixion, is unlikely to be the major theme of this painting.
(d) North ignores the central and major political problem of 1533 born of Henry VIII’s rejection of his wife, Catherine of Aragon, and the imminent birth of the king’s illegitimate daughter, Elizabeth I, to Anne Boleyn. (7 September 1533) The tumult was heard in royal Europe. Sir Thomas More was at the centre of the argument.
(e) The partly hidden crucifix at top left of the painting, if we believe Holbein’s contemporary witness at the court of Henry VIII, symbolises objection by the Vatican to the marital excesses of the king hidden in the background.
(f) A remarkable sexual impediment that resulted in the king’s dead children is described and made clear in an article by the present author based on medical information concealed in the Holbein portraits of Henry VIII, published at the Web site, which fits well with the known medical case history of Henry VIII; namely, a detrimental gene in the king, for which there is no known cure, resulting in a predictable progression to extinction of the Tudors after 118 years. (Click ß”Back”à Bookstallà”Henry VIII: A sexual impediment of some consequence” CD ROM)
(g) I will return to 1533 and the 1500th anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion later. For the present, there are other alternatives to be taken into consideration.
(h) In this connection, I have to draw attention to the death of Edward IV on the 1450th anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion, fifty years earlier in 1483. The reader may conceivably decide the burial of Edward IV on or about the 1450th anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion, 11 April 1483, is merely a “happenstance” and the Good Friday computation of the 1500th anniversary -- a “coincidence”. However, the reader must find a cogent answer to the central question raised by the artist himself: “Why am I doing it?” The ‘happenstance’ and ‘coincidence’ argument is an over-simplification of the provable aim and purpose of the artist whose intelligence we have under-estimated for nearly five hundred years. I will return to it again. (See: §VII, below)
§VII SECRET AND HIDDEN WRITINGS
§VII.1 I have to draw attention that ‘cryptography’ means ‘secret writings’ and ‘steganography’ means ‘hidden writings’. For instance, the aim and objective in steganography is for the cryptographer to entirely conceal the message in a text:
“Has Our Lad been entered in Newmarket race? Uttoxeter late entry starter. OK?
This is a simple form of steganographic concealment of a message using the first letter of each word of a codetext to lead the eye away from the plain text.
§VII.2 My reservations here concern Professor North, an eminent professor of exact science, writing about iconography. Iconography is not an exact science. Iconography is a lucus a non lucendo -- a Latin grove where there is no light. There is no elegant mathematical proof in a book of emblems. The Holy Grail of mathematicians exists in cryptanalysis, not in iconography. Furthermore, since there is no elegant mathematical proof in the 16th century, it follows that North’s interpretation of alleged matters of fact should be re-tested with appropriate checks and balances. For instance, if we measure the angle from a point outside the right edge of the painting at 90 degrees true to the centre line, indicated by the plumb line on the Compound Solar Instrument, to the eye of Christ on the crucifix, the angle measurement is near, on or about 27 degrees approximately, requiring confirmation from direct measurement on the painting. Similarly, if we measure the angle where this line meets the plane of the “skull”, this precise angle is similarly disputed. (Click: §V.2) ‘Mais, n’enculons pas des mouches’ -- the likelihood of the sight lines appearing by chance is very, very low. ‘What is Holbein trying to communicate?’ I will return to this later.
§VII.3 I have now to draw attention to the published opinion of John North on the title of the painting:
‘The Ambassadors is about as appropriate a title as Joseph and Mary would be of a nativity.’
If we follow North’s argument for just one minute, what title would North have? He doesn’t say. The claim that The Ambassadors, so-called, has ‘a religious significance’ simply will not do. What new title would convey a precise meaning and particular significance to a painting with a fantastic image of Thomas More on the all-important centre line? I will revert to it again.
§VII.4 I have now to draw attention that the possible religious significance has been known and discussed in a book about The Ambassadors, by M. F. S. Hervey, published more than one hundred years ago, in 1900.3 Similarly, it is insufficient to suggest that the painting’s Good Friday symbolism has been ignored. This is simply not true. The Good Friday symbolism has been under scrutiny by the present author over a substantial period of time.
§VII.5 Lastly, I have to draw attention that there has been a commemoration of the death of Jesus since the earliest days of the Judaeo-Christian ethic and on each day of the commemoration the sun was at or about 27 degrees above the horizon in the latitude of London and at all other parallel latitudes on earth. However, North selects Good Friday 1533, the date he believes was on or about the date of the painting in London, which is contradicted and in dispute; and, for no clear reason, computes an hour of the day, 4 p.m., one hour after the death of Jesus on the Cross, thought to have been about 3 o’clock in the afternoon near Jerusalem.
§VII.6 North ignores all other possible options relevant to known history and seeks to prove his theory of religious significance from readings on the astronomical instruments on the top shelf that, upon his own admission, have other optional readings not published in The Sunday Times in 1998. Neither were those other options published in The Sunday Times in 2002. Nor does Tom Robbins report in 2002 the alternative options in North’s book published in 2002. Did the eminent professors approached by Robbins know there were alternative options to be considered?
§VII.7 In this connection, I have now to draw attention, for just one minute, to a matter of some importance in art. The person of highest status in a formal 16th century portrait, with very few exceptions, was depicted on or close to the centre line. In The Ambassadors, Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve are neither on nor near the centre line – an odd Memento Mori IS. The person of highest status is precisely where we should expect – on the centre line. Holbein is directing attention, presumably, to his patron and friend, Thomas More, and the most widely read book of its day written by More, Utopia.
§VII.8 There is a linkage, as already explained and made clear, between Holbein -- Thomas More – The History of Richard III – Utopia. I now have to draw attention that there is further linkage with the numbers 1533, 1500, 27. The link is John Clement. There is more. The painting is Holbein’s record of intrigue at the English royal court between 1533 and 1538 and the central part played by More and two French supporters in an issue of state that would isolate and divide England from continental Europe. I will return to it again.
§VIII THE DECRYPTS: AN INTERPRETATION
§VIII.1 Before we see if the decrypts are relevant to known history, without forcing the pieces of the puzzle into a construct of our own creation, we must return, for just a minute to the official history books. The reader may recall that the younger son of Edward IV, Richard, Duke of York, was born in 1473. If we now turn to the “new” evidence, the “new” witness Holbein asserts that the prince assumed a false name and identity. He was also known as John Clement. The reader may similarly recall that Thomas More “killed off” Richard, Duke of York, in More’s manuscript book The History of King Richard III, at the same time as elder brother, Edward V, also known as Edward Guildford. More falsely alleged in his book, according to the witness, that Edward and Richard had been suffocated to death on the order of their late uncle, Richard III, in the Tower of London in 1483. If we believe Holbein, the princes were alive when More began to write his Richard some thirty years later, after 1513. The aim and purpose was to lay down a smokescreen over both princes, now grown men. The book was a blind. Holbein says in the Nostell painting: ‘Is it clumsy or, upon reflection, is it clever?’ implying that time would tell. A John Clement was an occasional visitor to More’s house in Bucklersbury, London, on or about 1509, allegedly a tutor to More’s children, teaching them Latin and Greek – most unlikely for a nine-year old born in or about 1500. The passage of time indeed describes linkage, a link of friendship, between More and Holbein, a literary link of More’s History of Richard III and Utopia, and an artistic link with the Holbein drawings and paintings. The repeating link in the chain is John Clement.
§VIII.2 I have now to draw attention that having first disposed of Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement (born 1473), in More’s History of Richard III, More then created a notional John Clement in Utopia, his ‘puer meus’, born about 1500. Holbein draws attention to the notional John Clement, allegedly aged 27 years in 1527, in the Nostell picture, recognizing John Clement as the rightful heir to the throne of England, Richard, Duke of York, born 1473: aged 27 in 1500 and 54 (2 x 27) in 1527. Thereafter, in 1538, Holbein refers retrospectively to the year 1533 when John Clement remains at the centre of the major religious and political problems of England. (Click:ß”Back”àIndexàFrequently Asked QuestionsàWriters & Publishers à¶4 B. FIELDS)
§VIII.3 In this connection, during the five year period of time covered by the events apparently related in The Ambassadors, from 1533 to 1538, I have now to draw attention that Thomas More was arrested on suspicion of treason and sent to the Tower on or about 17 April 1534 and, at about the same time, Clement was sent to the Fleet prison. No charge was made in Clement’s case.
§VIII.4 Some two months after the arrest of John Clement on or about 17 April 1534, following the “official” death of John Clement’s elder brother, Edward V, also known as Edward Guildford, on the 4th of June 1534, (Holbein claims Guildford died mid-July 1528 and was secretly buried by More in Chelsea Church), a letter was written to Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell by John Dudley, Duke of Northumberland, the husband of John Clement’s niece and only surviving child of Sir Edward Guildford, Lady Jane Guildford, described on her tomb: ‘The most noble and excellent princess, Lady Jane Guildford’ in the Northumberland Monument in Chelsea Church. (Click,ß“Back”àSir Thomas More and his FamilyàThe Northumberland Monument)
§VIII.5 An extant document in Letters & Papers, Foreign & Domestic, Henry VIII suggests Cromwell was the case officer of Clement and Guildford, appointed by Henry VIII following More’s arrest. As already explained and made clear, notional persons are not allowed to make a Will. The last wishes of a notional person are carried out by case officers as if the notional person had, in fact, made a Will.
§VIII.6 I have to draw attention that a younger brother may have a legal claim, as we should expect, upon the estate of an elder brother. In the case of John Clement and Edward Guildford the estate claim was resisted by Guildford’s son-in-law, John Dudley, husband of their living niece Lady Jane Guildford, sole surviving heir of the elder brother deceased, Sir Edward Guildford. In this connection, Dudley’s letter addressed to Master Secretary Thomas Cromwell, dated 11 October 1534, refers to Clement’s imprisonment in the Fleet, at the same time urging Thomas Cromwell not to make the best or greater part of Edward Guildford’s inheritance over to Clement.
§VIII.7 At the same time, Dudley informed Cromwell that he, Cromwell, might be amazed at the resentment shown by certain great persons (the words are ‘some great men’) and the letter continues:
‘As by the time I have shewed you how hotly the sending of Master Clement to the Fleet was taken, by some that by chance you may think to be your friends, you will not a little marvel [precisely, ‘you will not a little marvayle.’] (Letters & Papers, Foreign & Domestic, Henry VIII: Thomas Cromwell, 1534)
I could continue but since there is much more to discuss – we must move on. For the present, there is enough evidence to suggest that linguistic equivalents in The Ambassadors point to More and John Clement, corroborating at least part of what is known of the history of the period from documentation which has been in existence since the 16th century.
§VIII.8 I have now to draw attention to the decrypts, already explained and made clear in Sir Thomas More and his Family and now joined end-on to the decrypts in The Ambassadors. Message reads:
This portrait of Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve was painted in the family home of Jean de Dinteville at Polisy in 1538 – a retrospective commemoration of a secret visit to London by De Selve in 1533 during De Dinteville’s embassy to England as one of the ambassadors of the French king, Francois I. The aim and purpose of De Dinteville was to report to the French king on an issue of state in England to remove the Tudor legal heir, Henry VIII, and restore to the throne the Catholic Yorkist rightful heir, Richard, Duke of York, as Richard IV of England. The surviving son of Edward IV, Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement, was Henry’s uncle and Thomas More’s son-in-law.
Since there is no evidence discovered to-date of The Ambassadors having been painted in England, and since The Ambassadors is first recorded at Polisy in the next century, Holbein appears to confirm what has been known over a substantial period of time. This is “testable”. We will return to it later.
§VIII.9 For the present, I have to draw attention to the Compound Solar Instrument, on the top shelf of the sideboard, on the centre line of the painting. I have further to draw attention to the bob on the free hanging plumb line, similarly on the centre line, from which a line descends through the centre of the carpet on the sideboard4 touching the pegs in shadow on the pegboard of the lute on the bottom shelf, to the plane of the centrally placed “skull” underneath the shelf. This line is marked in red on the accompanying photograph below. A vertical line from De Dinteville’s right eye to the bottom edge of the painting drawn parallel to the red vertical line is marked in black. A second line drawn from De Dinteville’s right eye to the bob on the free-hanging plumb line and continuing to the right edge of the painting is similarly marked in black. The likelihood of three “eyes” connecting by chance three lines at two points of optimum correction of anamorphosis -- is very, very low. I will return to it again.
§VIII.10 Jean de Dinteville was an ambassador from the French court resident in London. Georges de Selve, Bishop of Lavaur, was a short stay visitor. De Dinteville had a foot in the inner circle. De Selve did not. Holbein shows that De Selve was left outside the inner circle. I have to draw attention to the placement of the feet of Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve on a floor copied, arguably, from the floor of the Sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. De Dinteville’s right foot is in the inner circle. De Selve’s foot is outside the inner circle. I have further to draw attention to one more oddity in a formal portrait. De Selve’s legs are ‘en croisade’ – the legs are crossed -- a sign seen on ancient tombs that the deceased had been on a crusade. De Dinteville writes to his elder brother, Bishop of Auxerre, not to mention the Bishop of Lavaur’s visit to England. Note the shadow under De Selve’s slightly raised right foot, as we should expect in most cases, when the right leg crosses the left leg.
(Holbein le Jeune. Flammarion 1972. Pl. XXXIX, [n. 83].)
§VIII.11 If we now turn for just one minute to the Compound Solar Instrument.
Unlike the same instrument in Holbein’s portrait of Nicolaus Kratzer, the artist now depicts the 90-degree mark at 85-degrees on the scale. This is odd. Most iconographers may argue it is a mistake, pure and simple, without real significance. However, I shall say the alleged mistake is not a mistake but deliberately intended. There are TOTUS linguistic equivalents, which make sense (they all make sense!) relevant to known history. This is my central point and I will revert to it again.
§VIII.12 I have now to draw attention to the plumb line on the torquetum (see below right) pointing unmistakably to the Latin word ‘VÆ’ (meaning, ‘to express pain or anger’) in the inscription on the side of the closed book on which de Selve’s arm is resting.5 The inscription reads: ÆTATIS SVÆ 25 -- interpreted as the age of Georges de Selve in 1533: namely, twenty-five years. However, the artist has split the words: ÆTAT / ISS / VÆ / 2 , leaving the number 5 in shadow, which is a near-homophone of ÉTAT ISSUE DE in French, or, ‘An issue of state’ in English. De Selve is holding gloves in his right hand. The artist communicates positive personal opinions on the elegantly dressed VIP sitters in their portraits. ‘Élégant’, meaning ‘elegant’ in English, is a near-homophone of ‘et-les-gants’, ‘and-the-gloves’, in French.
§VIII.13 Finally in this section, I have to draw attention to the inscription and date on the pavement seen below and to the left of the painting:
Instead of a conventional date/inscription in the Latin Past tense, perhaps: IOANNES / HOLBEIN / FECIT / 1533 -- Holbein dated the painting in the unconventional Imperfect tense of the verb ‘pingo’, meaning ‘to paint’:
The meaning of some incomplete or continuing action is implied by the artist’s use of the imperfect tense. For instance, Holbein was painting events of the year 1533 retrospectively in 1538.
§VIII.14 If detailed and closely reasoned proof is needed of the painful and distressing issues of state that changed the course of English history in the 16th century, Click: ßIndexàFrequently Asked Questions à Richard III, Sir James Tyrrell, Perkin Warbeck. I recommend these articles as models of scientific writing for the courageous reader, for without scientific writers and courageous readers there is no progress in the history of thought or in any other history.
§IX SCIENCE: THE BEDROCK OF HISTORY
§IX.1 For scientific proof of the location where The Ambassadors was painted, I recommend examination of the pollen in the pre- and post- restoration paint applications. The pollen in the latter will be found in the air of London today; and, the pollen in the former may be found from direct inspection of 16th century examples in the French pollen database. If the pollen trapped in paint of other pictures matches the pollen in The Ambassadors, we may know precisely where Holbein painted the picture. Pollen is localized and persists down the centuries.
§IX.2 Since Holbein was on the King’s business visiting and sketching potential brides resident in France and Flanders for his royal master in 1538, there was time, motive and opportunity (plus, status, economic reward and peace of mind) for Holbein to visit De Dinteville in his family home at Polisy.
§IX.3 I have to draw attention, for just one more minute, to the five-degree error on the scale of the Compound Solar Instrument on the top shelf. The rings marked on the scale represent one small part of the so-called ‘Great Circles’ that bisect the Earth with their centres at the true centre of the earth. These great circle rings are ‘anneaux’ in French, which is a homophone of ‘anno’, in Latin, meaning ‘years’, in English. ‘Five great circle rings’ in French, is linguistically equivalent to ‘five years’ in Latin and English. I have further to draw attention to another painting in which Holbein communicates by this method.
(Click: IndexàFrequently Asked Questions àPortrait of Sir Henry Guildford and Guildford’s real age in 1527, ‘anno 54’)
§IX.4 On the bottom shelf of the sideboard, immediately below the Compound Solar Instrument, we see a lute with eleven pegs holding the lute strings, one string of which is broken. There are shadows around the pegs. Each shadow materializes from a different direction and elevation.
Onze chevilles tiennent les fils
Les ombres restant
Ne savent plus leur sorts
Ni le sort de la nation.
A great deal of time and effort has been spent in trying to understand the meaning of the lute with the broken string on the bottom shelf. Truth is simple. It is only we human beings who are complex. Translated into French, we have a series of answers, which make sense, relevant to known history. The reader may find it hard to believe this was not seen and done long before now. For instance, the French homophone of ‘lute’ is ‘lutte’, meaning the ‘fight’ or ‘struggle’. ‘Onze chevilles’ means either eleven pegs or ‘eleven prime movers in an affair.’ ‘Tenir les fils’ means in familiar French language, to hold the strings of a conspiracy. ‘Un fil est cassé’ either means ‘a string is broken’ or, one of the conspirators is dead. ‘Les ombres restant’ means ‘the remaining shadows’ or ‘the conspirators that remain’. You may conceivably decide that the inconsistent shadows indeed turn in all directions around the ‘chevilles’ on the lute, like the ‘elevated shadows’ who have lost their leader, turn in all directions and know not their fate nor the fate of the nation: ‘Ne savent plus leur sort’, close enough in the French language.
§IX.5 I have to draw attention that Holbein identifies the leader of the conspiracy at the English court to remove Henry VIII from the throne, Sir Henry Guildford, who died in August 1533. I will return to this again.
§IX.6 For the present, I have to draw attention to the lines I have drawn on a coloured photograph of the painting. (Click on: §VIII.9) The artist painted free-hanging clock lines and bobs in Sir Thomas More and his Family: true verticals not requiring recourse to an assumed vertical on doors or on windows by a viewer. This was in or about 1532. Some years later we see lines concerning A, B and C in The Ambassadors. The artist draws attention to astronomical instruments on the top shelf with plumb lines that point to the centre of the Earth from a Zenith in the Heavens. I will return to it again.
§IX.7 The vertical line at the centre of the painting leads the eye to the “skull” below. If we join this line to the plane of the “skull”, as already explained and made clear, the reader may not be surprised by now that the extension lines, left and right, are two points where, theoretically, the skull’s anamorphosis is best resolved. However, this is only true in the precision pre-restoration photograph (on the left). The post-restoration photograph on page 37 of Professor North’s book (on the right) shows once more the sloppy work of a person who cannot tell an orbit from an anus.
Holbein’s multiple part-“messages” refer to known history concerning the divorce of the legal heir, Henry VIII, from Catherine of Aragon, aunt of the Emperor, Charles V. Holbein also apparently refers to secret history and we hear, for the first time, in a secret method of communication, about the risk of civil war in England led by conspirators at court planning to depose the Tudor legal heir, Henry, for having rejected his Spanish wife. The aim and objective was to replace Henry with his uncle the rightful heir, Richard, Duke of York, also known as John Clement, as King Richard IV. The French king, Francis I, sent ambassadors to the English court. There was more than one ambassador, presumably, with an ear to the ground. Francis was fearful lest the nobles of France might decide on a “copy-cat” reaction. The central theme in The Ambassadors concerns the father-in-law of John Clement, Sir Thomas More, who secretly cut and ran to Flanders disguised as the Flemish goldsmith, Hans of Antwerp, remaining there throughout 1533, fearful of the king’s anger at his support for Catherine and refusal to attend the coronation of Anne Boleyn six months pregnant with the future Elizabeth I at the time.6 “The King’s Great Matter” was resolved by Henry VIII’s newly appointed Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, granting the long-disputed divorce before Elizabeth was born (7 September 1533) without Papal consent. It is this central point to which I must finally draw attention. Shortly after the birth, the incumbent Pope excommunicated Henry, bastardised Elizabeth in favour of Henry’s girl child, Mary, born to Catherine in 1515, and Anglicanism was born. We must not invent a new history. We intend to prove conclusively that Holbein provides a solid core of evidence for on going historical conjecture concerning an old history widely regarded as unchallengeable. But first we must consider the method of approach. For the present, the method of approach is more important than the history, which may be tested by other means.
§X “WHAT IS” and “WHAT SHOULD BE”: a review.
§X.1 The reader may not be at all surprised that what you have seen and read, up to this point, is not recorded in The Ambassadors’ Secret, by J. D. North. This is slightly worrying.
35. The hexagram in its relation to the painting, ibid. p. 147
§X.2 For instance, the Text Illustration 35 on page 147 (immediately above), describes a circle passing over the top of the painting, centred on the ‘centre of swing of the plumb line.’ I have first to draw attention that the centre of the circle might have been the centre of the painting, with more justification, since the circle and hexagram would then have been within the painting. However, this inner circle would then not touch the cap of De Dinteville and the French Order of St. Michael he wears. It is not at all clear why the author associates the cap and the Order of St Michael with occultism symbolised by an imperfect hexagram.
§X.3 NIET criteria specify: ‘It is most unlikely we will arrive at a “correct” conclusion unless we begin with a “correct” hypothesis.’ In this connection and since there is no compelling reason for the circle to be centred where the author has centred it, the reader will excuse me if I do not check the so-called ‘St Michael-Rome’ line “almost” tangential to the circle, nor examine ‘the lost chord’ hexagram that the author “fitted” to the upper central area of The Ambassadors that ‘begged’ the author to be inscribed within the circle ‘in a way that will need to be explained at length.’
(ibid. p. 146)
§X.4 I have to draw attention to the central red line drawn by the present author from the bob on the plumb line of the Compound Solar Instrument that passes through the “S” at dead centre of the carpet on the sideboard, touches the corner of the peg board on the lute and passes through a notch in the right orbit to the plane of the “skull”. Since this line touches more than one point between its extremities and since each point has a linguistic equivalent that makes sense relevant to known history, we may reasonably assume the line is not there by chance but was put there by Holbein.
§X.5 Professor North draws attention to a sight line passing through scientific instruments on the top shelf, through the left eye of Jean de Dinteville, to the head of Jesus on the Cross, partially obscured by the green curtain (top left), which seemingly insignificant object at the outer limits of the composition encapsulates, according to North, the meaning of the entire painting. The alleged ‘meaning of the entire painting’, as already explained and made clear, is contradicted and in dispute. I will return to it again. (Click: §X.2)
§X.6 For the present, my reservations concern TWO points, near the edge of the painting, one on the left of the angled plane of the “skull” and one point on the right --TWO positions for the viewer’s eye in order to correct anamorphosis of the “skull.” The author only identifies ONE.
§X.7 ‘1500th anniversary of Christ’s crucifixion.’ I have to draw attention once more to the alternative options for the date of Christ’s crucifixion in the 1500th year following his death, first proposed by North as 11 April 1533 and later subsequently proposed, 12/14 August. First, the death of Edward IV fifty years earlier and his burial on or about the 11th of April in 1483 is significant to the contemporary history of The Princes in The Tower and their uncle, Richard III. (Click “ßBack”àFrequently Asked QuestionsàRichard III) One more option: Sir Henry Guildford died on the 12th of August 1533.
¶.1 My reservations concern the fact that Professor North ignores the secret information transmitted by cryptographers employed in the courts of Europe in the 16th century. North only needed to examine one contemporary codebook, similar to published marine and business codebooks in use today, to see how information is communicated to outstations. To reconstruct the plaintext does not take more time, presumably, than it took Holbein to paint pictorial equivalents of the codetext. Holbein’s remarkable contribution to the world of symbols in iconography (the communication of IDEAS) and the communication of WORDS in cryptology (notwithstanding that a secret method of communication is not pure code and not purely scientific and lacks an elegant mathematical proof) the cryptosystem still needs precise scientific definition. For the present, the theory of the unconventional symbols (TOTUS) is my contribution to the history of art – and I’m very glad about that.
¶.2 The national security agency in any century and from any country will know there are people who believe body and soul in astrology. The agency knows and understands, then as now, that it would be natural for the Children of the Book to discuss the significance of that moment in history when Jesus was allegedly crucified. The cryptographer might be instructed accordingly: ‘Lay down a smokescreen.’ Jesus Christ, astronomy and astrology would be ideal.
¶.3 In this connection, Steve Farrar notes:
‘That Holbein kept such company among scholars at the cutting edge of the Renaissance would have made it almost inconceivable to ignore astronomy and astrology, according to Robin Simon, editor of the art magazine Apollo. “Nothing would surprise me about the Ambassadors and the possible interpretations that could be drawn from it. To tease out these hidden meanings is exactly what Holbein would have wanted us to do,” Simon said.
¶.4 Farrar continues:
‘This mystery had attracted many different theories over the years, said Catharine MacLeod, curator of 16th and 17th century works at the National Portrait Gallery. “It’s the sort of picture that invites speculation because it has these different elements in it,” she said.
¶.5 This was the aim and objective of the steganographic cryptographer -- to hide the very existence of the message by distracting the viewer. Holbein knew most people are easily distracted. Holbein knew most people would not accept that each item on the top and bottom shelves was put there by the artist without a good reason. The ‘reasoning’ would add more smoke to Holbein’s smokescreen. And yet we must return to the simple fact that the artist painted a fantastic image with linguistic equivalents that made sense relevant to a book of fantasy written by Thomas More advising all Christian peoples, including monarchs, how to behave – the rebus Utopia.
¶.6 Steve Farrar writes in 1998:
‘Nick Campion, historian and president of the Astrological Society of Great Britain, said Holbein’s horoscope was particularly symbolic for Good Friday. “It is the struggle between Saturn and Jupiter, showing the triumph of death but that death was about to be overthrown,” he said.’
¶.7 I have to draw attention that the outline of a medieval horoscope disguised in the painting hints at astrology, but it is put there deliberately to ensure the viewer’s conclusions are wrong. The reader may be surprised that the wartime tactic of the national security agencies worldwide is termed and named ‘Muddying of the waters’ – and leaving them muddy. Holbein risked his life to tell us personal and political history that might not otherwise be known. He covers himself with glory over a substantial period of time -- the longest undetected cryptosystem discovered to-date -- worthy of the Guinness Book of Records.
¶.8 If we may now turn back, one last time, to our examination of North’s book. The reader may conceivably decide that since there is no elegant mathematical proof in the 16th century, nor an accurate astronomical instrument, it follows that North’s interpretation of alleged matters of fact may be re-tested with the appropriate checks and balances. For instance, the aim and objective of the inclusion of two free-hanging plumb lines in The Ambassadors and the two free-hanging clock lines in Sir Thomas More and his Family is a provable signal that these true verticals are NOT a phantasmagorical appearance of supernatural origin but significant elements of a secret method communication directing our attention that these lines are “true”. There is more.
¶.9 And yet we must return to the simple fact, however much North muddies the waters with matters that have little or nothing of direct concern to the true history of Europe, and since North omits the secret writings by highly skilled cryptographers in each one of the courts of Europe reporting back to royal masters at risk from royal cousins on the secret history of the renaissance -- and although the pictorial anomalies are clearly visible in the Holbein oeuvre from direct observation -- and since no debt of gratitude has been paid to the art of the cryptographer (‘one who writes in or is skilled in cipher.’ OED) and the art of the iconographer (‘one who makes figures or drawings of objects.’ OED) combined in the work of Hans Holbein the Younger, in a way not seen before or since in the world of great art; and although the likelihood of North’s major conclusion being correct is very, very low -- North still deserves praise for having seen what was not seen before -- the North line in The Ambassadors.
¶.10 In conclusion, personal and political information in eleven undoubted Holbein portraits has been published at the Web site to-date. Am I too loud? However, since politics and human nature continue to deny wider access to my work, I am left with no practical alternative. The personal and political briefing in the Nostell picture Sir Thomas More and his Family and the National Gallery painting known as The Ambassadors, which my friends knew and informed the National Gallery accordingly more than a quarter of a century ago, resulted in a remarkable short visit abroad during the Cold War. I attended The Broomball Ball at the American Ambassador’s residence in Moscow USSR where I was invited to brief a group of men and women sitting at a table on the dance floor beside the band. The music was loud, very loud, TOO loud. My host apologised: “The place is probably bugged,” he said. Later than evening, it was agreed that with much less risk Holbein could have left the information in a diary, perhaps in code, buried in the ground for someone to find at a much later date. The advice was unequivocal: I am obliged absolutely to ignore the rebuffs and continue.
¶.11 Finally, the reader may not be in the least surprised that PART THREE of this inquiry into the personal and political information hidden on the bottom shelf of the sideboard in the so-called The Ambassadors is in course of preparation for publication on the Net. The previous widely-held proposition that the celestial globe on the top shelf alludes to spiritual matters and the terrestrial globe on the bottom shelf alludes to secular matters, omits the simple fact that in the foreground of the picture there is an unmistakable allusion to the artist’s friend and former patron Thomas More.
¶.12 More was a focus of attention in the reigns of Henry VII and Henry VIII and when Henry VIII killed a Catholic prisoner of conscience, the royal cousins at home and abroad held their breath at what terrible happening might be next. More hidden lines will be discussed next month.
1. Letter from J. D. North addressed to J. Leslau, dated 16 January 2002.
‘Dear Mr Leslau, Thank you for your message, and for drawing attention to your work, of which I am afraid I was unaware. I was interested especially in your references to the (fairly) recent work on the ‘Lockey’ picture. While it is not central to my book I have somewhere made an aside to the effect that the date is wrong, rather than the ascription to Lockey. I relied on a 1998 Nostell book, if I remember rightly, and assumed that it would be up to date. I must look into the matter again when I get the chance. For the foreseeable future I shall be fulfilling commitments to finish off many other tasks. On the question of which painting did I use, pre- or post- restoration, I naturally considered both at all stages, although I couldn’t interrupt the flow of what I wrote to keep on saying how the two compared. There is of course also the intermediate state, when alien paint was removed but no paint had been added. I agree with you on many points about the National Gallery analysis of the anamorphosis, which is surprisingly naive. However, I am not upset by the NG’s restoration work, give or take a few uncertainties. The more I look into the matter, the more I admire their procedural principles, and I am sure that the scientific record you allude to has been kept – note the published restoration account, which as far as can be judged justified the main points on which my own interpretation rests. While the new painting might not be perfect, neither was the pre-restoration version (i.e. the old badly restored version), etc.’
2. The report of the Hamilton Kerr shows evidence of the outlines of the figures drawn in red chalk on the primary applications: a known Holbein characteristic. Similarly, the elements of the rebus have been under drawn in black charcoal. The reader may conceivably decide this evidence is sufficient to merit further investigation of the lines in The Ambassadors in an ongoing method of inquiry. (Click “Back”àIndexàBookstallàCDROMàReport of the Hamilton Kerr Institute, Cambridge, signed Pamela England: Sir Thomas More and his Family at Nostell Priory, 1981; and, fifteen photographs of infra red vidicon findings on the primary applications, by Christopher Hurst.)
3. M. F. S. Hervey, Holbein’s ‘Ambassadors’: The Picture and the Men (London, 1900.)
4.The sideboard in the painting is covered by a carpet, which has a linguistic equivalent in the French language that makes sense, relevant to known history. ‘La crédence est sous le tapis’ means ‘confidential matters are hidden under the carpet.’ ‘Crédence’ means ‘sideboard’ or ‘confidential matters’ in the language of the court. Letters of Credence are still presented by ambassadors to the monarch. The carpet on the sideboard in The Ambassadors is seen once more in Sir Thomas More and his Family: the only two occasions in art that a carpet is depicted on a sideboard.
5. The reader may not be surprised that the word ‘VÆ’ in Latin is a near-homophone of the global ‘OY VAY’ of the afflicted.
6. See the Holbein portrait “the so-called goldsmith, Hans of Antwerp” in the Royal Collection.
7. See: The hidden lines in Sir Thomas More and his Family.
I have to remind the National Gallery that it is a business and punishable by investors. ‘Hard-to-Decipher Results Invite Investors’ Wrath’, as The Wall Street Journal Europe succinctly put it in Column One, Page One, of Europe’s International Business Daily, edited and published in Brussels, dated February 22-24, 2002. Staff Reporter Jesse Eisinger writes:
‘”There is a big change going on,” says Benoit Flamant, chief executive of IT Asset Management, a Paris fund management firm. “Markets and investors will punish companies going forward that are not transparent. Investors will give a premium to companies with clear reporting.”’
Eisinger continues that post-Enron investors are punishing some already. The shares of France Telecom SA have plunged 42% in the past three months – much steeper than the drop by the overall market or by other telecom companies post 911. A takeover/spending spree has left questions about the exact size of the company’s off-balance-sheet liabilities. The dispute is raging right now. I have to draw attention that politicians who kiss babies like to keep their options open. If investors are fans of what some London analysts joke is the “EBBS” valuation technique: ‘Earnings Before Bad Stuff’, the more common term “operating profit” is at risk: along with the jobs of the politicians. The National Gallery investors and shareholders need to see transparent accounting. “Creative accounting” and “EBBS” valuation on income from operations is under review worldwide. The courts will be asked to decide what is intentionally fraudulent. Politicians are asked to provide laws to protect vulnerable and expendable workers thrown out of jobs overnight with no pensions by the Unspeakable. The shareholders in parliament in the United Kingdom punish institutions by withdrawing funding. Private investors invest elsewhere. Should the NG be told?
Revised √ 010502
¶2. The Henry VIII “look-alike”
¶ HENRY PATTISON or PATTERSON or PATERSON
During a talk to the Leicester Branch of the Richard III Society, in March 1997, it was noticed by Mr. R. J. Penhey that Sir Thomas More’s servant, Henry Pattison or Patterson or Paterson, hereinafter referred to as ‘Pattison’, is depicted holding the ornate handle of a short sword or sword dagger but the sword blade is missing. This may refer to the anecdotal history concerning Pattison and the Lord Mayor of London, which may enable us to fix more firmly the date of the painting Sir Thomas More and his Family.
In this connection, Thomas More was obliged to dismiss most of his household staff after his resignation as Lord Chancellor, dated 16 May 1532, and Pattison became employed as Sword Bearer to the Lord Mayor of London. One of his duties was to carry the Mayoral Sword in procession. The traditional story is that Pattison somehow managed to lose the Lord Mayor’s sword.
In this connection, I have to draw attention to the inscription. The first line in small font reads: ‘henricus Patti∫on’, a near-homophone of ‘henri Petitson’ in slightly “forced” French ‘Henry – the youngest son’ (Henry VIII was the second and ‘youngest son’ of Henry VII). The second line reads, in larger font, ‘Thomæ ∫erUUS’ – or “Thomæ servus” (‘Thomas’s servant’, in Latin), which has a long-flowing first letter “s” (or “∫”) followed by two “U”s, heavily marked, ‘servus’ or ‘∫eruus’. The ‘ser-‘ (or, ‘fer-’) and the pair of “U”s (‘pair d’”U”’s’, in French) is a linguistic equivalent and near homophone of ‘servus perdu’ and/or ‘fer perdu’, meaning ‘The lost servant’ and/or ‘The lost sword’ (‘iron’ in familiar English or ‘fer’ in familiar French) which, as already explained and made clear, is relevant to known history.
Since investigation of the primary layers shows the picture was painted in the known time it takes for the linseed oil binding the pigment to dry – approximately one year – this suggests a terminus ab quo from when Holbein prepared the canvas, perhaps one year after 1532 when Holbein returned for his second visit to England. The inscription above Pattison’s head was therefore made some time ‘after 1533’.
Henry Pattison (or, ‘Patterson’) is termed and named in the literature, ‘More’s “Fool”’.
Last revision √ 030303
#1. The companion portraits SIR HENRY GUILDFORD
& MARY WOTTON, Lady GUILDFORD:
Hans Holbein the Younger
Sir Henry Guildford. Oil and tempera on wooden panel.
82,6 x 66,4 cms. Royal Collection, Windsor. 1527.
Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford. Oil and tempera on panel.
80,0 x 65,0 cms. City Art Museum, St. Louis. 1527.
THE “NEW” HOLBEIN EVIDENCE
Note No. 1
‘Anno D. mcccccxxvii’ One ring: five rings: four rings
‘Etatis Suæ xl ix’ In French, ‘Anneau’ (1) (5) (4)
In Latin, ‘Anno’ 5 4
(‘Anno Domini 1527’)
(‘His age 49:’ In English, “54 years in 1527”
(i.e. Born in 1473)
Note No. 2
Compare companion date inscription:
‘ANNO M D XXVII ÆTATIS SVÆ: XXVII’
“1527. Her age: 27”
Sir Henry Guildford married twice. There was no issue with his first wife, Mary Bryant, who died after 12 years of marriage. His second wife was Mary Wotton. They were married 12 years before he died. There was no issue. Lady Mary Wotton remarried, Sir Gavin Carew, and presented her husband with children. Option No. 1: Holbein offers one possible reason why Sir Henry Guildford might be called ‘a fig’. Sir Henry Guildford was pretending to be five years younger than his real age. Option No. 2: Sir Henry was physically a giant, the King’s Champion who would answer any challenger at the jousts, even bigger than Henry VIII – and impotent.
Note No. 3
N.B. The piece of parchment fixed to the wall with two dabs of red wax...
‘Two waxes hold the parchment’ (‘Deux cires tiennent le parchemin’) -- a homophone of ‘Deux Sires tiennent le parchemin’ (‘Two lords hold the right and title of nobility’).
Note No. 4
Sir Henry Guildford is depicted “holding” two ropes.
In French, ‘tenir les cordons’ means ‘to hold the purse strings’.
Guildford was Comptroller of the Royal Household in 1527.
Note No. 5
Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford: The right shoulder of her dress is missing: a ‘line fault’ or, ‘a fault in the lineage’.
In French, ‘faute de lignage’
Note No. 6
Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford is depicted wearing six heavy gold chains.
The weight of the gold is excessive for personal jewelry. In French, ‘Déchaîné’ adj. Fig. means ‘Excessive’. ‘Déchaîner des passions’, v. t. Fig. ‘Excited’ or ‘irritated’ (with passions).
Note No. 7
Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, looks directly at the observer -- and frowns?
The reader may conceivably decide that the most likely reason Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, had no children in 1527 (perhaps due to the impotence of her husband) was subsequently confirmed to the courtiers after her marriage to Sir Gavin Carew (or, ‘Carey’) after the death of Sir Henry Guildford in 1532. Since most wives produced offspring for a varying number of years, every 18 to 25 months, approximately; and, since Mary Wotton, now Lady Carew, is reported to have had children by Sir Gavin Carew -- childlessness may indeed have caused Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, great personal distress in 1527. At the same time, it is not at all clear why Mary Wotton is marked by fig leafs. Was this a purely personal opinion of the artist or was he reporting the opinion of the courtiers upon the ‘figgish’ Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford? (See, below: “Figs and Figments”)
Note No. 8
Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, holds a book with “Vita Christi” written along the edge.
Holbein refers to sexual unwillingness, presumably, on the part of her husband.
Note No. 9
Sir Henry Guildford is wearing The Order of the Garter.
Motto: “Honi soit qui mal y pense”
“Shame (or, ‘Evil’) on him who thinks evil.”
“His heart bleeds”. The cloth-of-gold tunic is apparently bloodstained under the St. George pendant of the Order of the Garter.
¶ Figs and Figments
There are branches of fig-leafs in the background of certain Holbein portraits of his VIP sitters. I asked myself ‘Why?’ Why did Holbein use a fig leaf and not, perhaps, a laurel leaf? And why are leafs depicted and not the fruit? The NIET evaluation suggested Holbein might have used any other leaf as a symbol and at the same time could have depicted the fruit – except in the case of the fig.
The literary association of man and the fig begins in the Garden of Eden. What Eve offered Adam was provably not an apple. Paleontology shows us seeds of fruit grown in the area, over a substantial period of time, where rivers Tigris and Euphrates met in Mesopotamia. No apple seeds are recorded to-date from the Biblical period of Gan Eden. However, the locality has provided the seeds of a variety of other fruits, including the fig.
The earliest Hebrew version of the Bible says that Eve offered Adam ‘the fruit of the tree’. At least one early scholar may have been asked: ‘Was it a date from a date palm? Or a fig from a fig tree?’ And since he may have seen the entry in an 11th century Italian dictionary where the word ‘fica’ has an alternative meaning in familiar language ‘vulva’ – the salty old scholar may have suggested: ‘a fig!’
The later Pagan and Christian translators and teachers (men again!) may have decided the fig symbol was too explicit, too strong, and finally decided to modify the symbolism for the benefit of their wayward flocks.
In Europe, an apple was beneficial to health. The outer beauty of the fruit might conceal a worm but when the apple is split open it does not present a challenge to the wayward to think of anything other than an apple. It is not quite the same with a fig.
At about the time the fig passed into the languages of Europe disguised as an apple, a collective understanding born of instinctive common sense absorbed the fig into each language to secretly represent what it resembled – an explicit and covert allusion to a usually covered male and female reality (usually covered by painters and sculptors with a fig leaf).
The allusion has passed down through time. Today, we may expect an immediate and often violent reaction if we are so foolish as to call someone ‘Fica’ in Italian or Spanish, or ‘Figuen’ in German.
‘Faire la figue à quelqu’un’, in French, accompanied by the familiar gesture of showing the thumb (‘la figue’) on the hand of one bent arm is a danger signal worldwide.
I therefore examined each one of Holbein’s paintings with the fig-leaf symbol in a scholarly attempt to find a compelling reason why Holbein was secretly making a most offensive gesture about his famous sitter – from historical evidence.
¶ THE GUILDFORD FAMILY
GULDEFORD OF HEMPSTED, KENT.
(Mus. Brit. MS. Addit. 5711, p. 69)
Anne, d. of = Sir Rd. Guldeford, Kt. of Hempsted in Kent = Joan, sister to Nicholas
.....Pympe Knt. of the Garter, P.C.; Will proved 10th Lord Vaux, living 1519,
of.......1st May, 1508, 23 Hen. 7; Sheriff of Kent, 2nd wife.N.B. Hen. 8 in
wife. 9 Hen. 7. He had a grant of ye manor of 1514 granted her an
Hoghen in Sussex to him and his hrs male annuity of 20l. for life,
with licence to build towers there. Attainted in considn of her great
1 R. 3; restored 1 Hen. 7. and faithfull services to
his father and mother,
his two sisters, and
himself. Foedera, tom.
13, p. 470.
I have to draw attention to the following entry in Letters & Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII:
re. Joan, sister to Nicholas Vaux, 2nd wife. 'N.B. Hen. 8 in 1514 granted an annuity of 20l. for life, in considn of her great and faithfull services to his father and mother, his two sisters, and himself. Foedera, tom, 13, p. 470
What precisely were these 'great and faithful services' to Henry VIII’s father (Henry VII) and mother (Elizabeth of York), and his two sisters (Mary and Margaret) for which Joan, sister to Nicholas, Lord Vaux of Harrowden, who became the second wife of Sir Richard Guildford, was rewarded in 1514 with an annuity of £20 for life?
THE NIET POSITIVE EVIDENCE
(1) The year of the marriage of Sir Richard Guildford, Comptroller of the Royal Household, to Joan Vaux of Harrowden.
Sir Richard Guildford married twice. His first wife was Anne Pympe of Kent. Sir Richard married his second wife, Joan Vaux of Harrowden, in the presence of Henry VII: i.e. after 1486.
(2) The first alleged year of birth of Sir Henry Guildford (d. 1532)
I have to draw attention that in 1527 the alleged age of Sir Henry Guildford in the companion portrait by Holbein in the Royal Collection is 49 years. The inference is that Henry Guildford was born in 1478, a child of the marriage of Sir Richard Guildford to Anne Pympe.
(3) The second alleged year of birth of Sir Henry Guildford.
I have further to draw attention that in 1527, encrypted in the same portrait of Sir Henry Guildford in the Royal Collection, the claim is made in Holbein’s secret method of communication that Henry Guildford was born in 1473, confirming Henry Guildford was a son of the marriage of Sir Richard Guildford, to the late Lady Anne Guildford (née Pympe).
(4) The third alleged date of birth of Sir Henry Guildford, which is contradicted and in dispute. (See: “Sir Henry Guildford”, D.N.B.)
I have to draw attention in 1529, some two years after the painting by Holbein, dated 1527, when invited by officers of the High Court to give evidence in the case of the alleged consummation of the marriage of Prince Arthur to Katherine of Aragon (before 1502), Sir Henry Guildford declared he was unable to assist His Majesty as 'he was too young at the time.' Sir Henry swore on oath he was 40 years old in 1529; i.e. born in 1489, three years after the second marriage of his father, Sir Richard Guildford, to Lady Joan Vaux.
On the one hand, Lady Anne Pympe was not Sir Henry Guildford’s mother. Lady Joan Vaux was.
On the other hand, Lady Joan Vaux was not Sir Henry Guildford’s mother. Lady Anne Pympe was.
¶ SIR HENRY GUILDFORD & SIR EDWARD GUILDFORD:
THE NIET NEGATIVE EVIDENCE
On the one hand, the Guildford family genealogy claims Sir Henry Guildford was a son of the second marriage of Sir Richard Guildford, to Lady Joan Vaux.
On the other hand, if we believe “our” witness, Holbein, it means Sir Henry Guildford was the son of the first marriage of Sir Richard Guildford to Lady Anne Pympe.
On the one hand, the Guildford family genealogy alleges two sons of the first marriage, Sir Edward and Sir George Guildford. (See: GULDEFORD OF HEMPSTED, KENT. Mus. Brit. MS. Addit. 5711, p. 69)
On the other hand, if we believe “our” witness, Holbein, the elder prince, Edward V also known as Sir Edward Guildford, was taken into the Guildford family after 1485 and subsequently presented at court as the son of Sir Richard Guildford's first marriage.
¶ THE LESLAU CONJECTURE
Since “new” evidence shows Sir Henry Guildford was born in 1473, the younger son of the first marriage of his father, Sir Richard Guildford to Lady Anne Pympe, younger than his brother George and three years younger than Edward V, also known as Edward Guildford, born in 1470 -- the true birth years and birth mothers of each son of Sir Richard Guildford was known, beyond any possible shadow of doubt, by the second wife, Lady Joan Vaux.
I believe that the legal heir, Henry VIII, rewarded Lady Joan Vaux who allowed and continued to allow it to be believed, over a substantial period of time, that she, Lady Joan Vaux, was the mother of Sir Henry Guildford, the alleged only child of the second marriage of Sir Richard Guildford (d. 1508).
The 1514 annuity for life was the royal reward, presumably, for this great and faithful service to Henry VIII’s father (Henry VII) and mother (Elizabeth of York), his two sisters (Mary and Margaret), and himself, for concealing the real identity of the rightful heir, Edward V also known as Sir Edward Guildford.
Henry VIII felt generously inclined towards Lady Joan Vaux for her acknowledged and essential contribution to keeping in place the Tudor deception plan after 1485.
1. Personal information in companion portraits of Sir Henry Guildford and his second wife, Mary Wotton, Lady Guildford, confirms documentary evidence, in 1527. Sir Henry Guildford was probably, almost certainly, impotent -- the prime cause of his wife’s distress.
2. Since political information concerning the Tudor deception in Sir Thomas More and his Family tells us Edward V assumed the false name and identity of the eldest son of Sir Richard Guildford, Sir Edward Guildford, we may safely regard this portrait of Sir Henry Guildford as one more “message” in a series of 73 ”part-messages” concerning the mystery of the princes who disappeared from the Tower of London in 1483 and were never seen or heard of again.
3. Edward V (b. 1470) was 3 years older than Henry Guildford (b. 1473).
4. When called upon to state his age in 1529 (56 years), Sir Henry Guildford claimed he was sixteen years younger (40 years). The major point is that between 1527 and 1529 Sir Henry Guildford had turned or had been turned. This evidence suggests Sir Henry Guildford was anti-Henry VIII and anti-Divorce in 1529.
Finally, there are two possible options why Holbein asserts Sir Henry Guildford was a ‘fig’:
Option No. 1: Since Sir Henry Guildford may have perjured himself in 1529 falsely claiming to be sixteen years younger than his real age, which was known by the courtiers, we may safely conclude Sir Henry Guildford was anti-Henry and anti-Divorce and his life was at risk. However, this is NOT a compelling reason why Holbein asserts Guildford was ‘a fig’.
Option No. 2: Any person who claims to be sixteen years younger than his real age might conceivably be considered ‘figgish’.
(Lovers of Gilbert & Sullivan may recall the defendant’s claim, in Trial by Jury, to have been born on leap year day, the 29th February. ♫‘I am a little boy of five!’♫ The Gilbertian defendant was surely a ‘fig’.)
I cannot say more without more information in an on-going method of inquiry. For the present, I conclude that new evidence shows at least one courtier, Lady Joan Vaux, who knew the true fate of the princes and died with her secret.
¶ THE OFFICIALLY ALLEGED GUILDFORD GENEALOGY
(Five daughters and alleged two sons of the 1st marriage of Sir Richard Guildford.)
(1) Philippa, (2) Mary, (3) EDWARD, (4) Friswith, (5) Elizabeth, (6) GEORGE, (7) Eleanor,
ux. Sir Jn. ux. Xr. ux. 1. Sir ux. Edw.
Gage, Kt. Kempe. Thos.Well, Hawte, Esq.
Browne, Kt.; 2. Sir 2. ux. Sir Math,
Kt. of Tho. Ixley,
Betch- of Landridge
worth Kt. ob. 11
Castle in Hen. 8; 3.
Surrey. Sir Wm.
(The alleged two sons, Sir Edward Guilford [sic] and George Guildford [sic].)
Sir Edw. Guilford, = Eleanor, 2. Geo. Guild-= Elizabeth, d.
Knt. of Hemp- sister ford, 2d son, and h, of Sir
sted, Marshal and coh. of Hemsted, Robert Mor-
of Calais, Ld. of Thos. Esq. heir male timer, kt. of
Warden of the West, to his brother Mortimer's
Cinque Ports, Ld. De- Sir Edward. Hall, Essex,
and Master of lawar. Sheriff of by Eliz. d. of
the Ordnance, Kent 15 H. 8, Jn. Howard,
m. 2, Joane, d. of Esq. for the Duke of Nor-
Stephen Pitlesden. King's body. folk.
(Children of Sir Edward Guilford)
Richard, ob. s.p. John Dudley = Jane Guildford, d. and h. ob.
Duke of 22 Jan. 1555, aet. 46 years;
North- bur. at Chelsea in Middx.
umberland. where her tomb yet remains.
(Children of Geo. Guildford)
Mary, ux. Barbara,=Sir John Guildford,=Mary, d.and coh. of Sir=John Shelley,
Sir Owen d. Thos. Kt. of Hempsted, Wm. Fitzwilliams, Kt. Esq. of Mit-
West, son of West, Ld. Kt. Sheriff of Kent, 2d wife, relict of Jn. chelgrove in
Thos.West, Delawar, 6 Edw. 6, died 5 Shelley, of Mitchelg- Sussex, 1st
Ld. Delawar. first wife. July, 7 Eliz. rove, Sussex. Esq. husband.
(The alleged son of the second marriage of Sir Richard Guildford, in the presence of Henry VII (i.e. after 1485), to Joan, sister to Lord Vaux, Sir Henry Guldeford.)
Mary, d. of Sir Robt Wotton = Sir Henry Guldeford = Mary, d. of Sir Robt. Brian,
Kt. of Bocton Malherbe in Kt. Comptroller of Kt. 1st wife; according to
Kent, remarryd to Sir Gawen ye Household to Hen.8 others d. of Sir Thos. Brian.
Carey, of Devon, Kt. K.G. ob. s.p....May,
23 Hen. 8, 1532,
circ. 44 ann.
By ‘in survivorship’ clauses in the family Wills, the descent of the Guildford family ultimately passed down the male line of the elder son Sir George Guildford, without further juridical intervention presumably, to his son Sir John Guildford, and then to the children of Sir John Guildford and his two wives. 1st wife, Barbara: Anne, Elizabeth, Mary, Dorothy, Sir Thomas, Richard, Edward, Elizabeth, Ursula, George, Henry, James; and 2d. wife, Richard.
First published: 010401
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