Eye Spy

The Artist vision is an amazing window to their soul, their inner feelings, and, in some cases, their sense of humor. This gallery is dedicated to the parts of the painting you do not pick out right away, the hidden gems that were put in the background, or foreground, of the piece to keep us all guessing. 

For this piece by Hans Holbein, the obvious draw for the eye is the to gentlemen in the portrait. If you look longer, you will see the different props in the background. Now, the hidden object can be seen when looking from the bottom. Hint: It's a SKULL.
In this full length portrait of George Washington, hidden in plain sight is the symbol for the nation of the United States. Gilbert Stuart enjoyed dressing up the portraits he did of G.W. The red cloth on the table is rumored to be the material used to create the first American flag. Not as cool as the SKULL, but it is an interesting little tidbit.
This is another hidden in plain sight piece. In the lower left corner of this self-portrait, William Hogarth created a painters palette with the words "The LINE of BEAUTY" but if you look closer you will also see "And Grace W.H.1745" Not very profound, but if you weren't looking for it...
Now this is an interesting perspective piece. Erhard Schon decided to hide a picture of a man squatting into a widescreen story of Jonah and the Whale. If you can't see him, look from the left side to the right at an extreme angle. (It took me a minute too)
This one has an interesting story, but its a little long for this text box. So I will focus on one part, the head under the bench. Don't see it? The likeness is of the woman's actual lover with a gold piece in his eye. If you aren't looking you will miss it. Oh and this was a revenge piece by the artist. Look into it, its actually really dark...
Now, I don't know the backstory but if you look at this painting closely, you can see what the artist was trying for in the chaos caused by the rebel angels and the war that ensues. I'm just going to point out the one hidden gem that I found. Of all the possible objects that could be in a painting, a goose laying an egg mid-flight has to be one of the more bizarre and random. Just saying..
Now, this one is for me. There is a ton of commotion in this painting, the eye is drawn all over the canvas. Keep looking, there is a floating face of a person or animal that was started and never finished.
Every object in this picture was placed for a purpose. Dou, was a student of Rembrandt and learned to put great detail into everything, and his textures are amazing. One of the most notable things is also the smallest. Some of the greatest detail in this painting is in the floor. One of the few artist to actually paint nails in boards on the floor. (zoom in, they're there)
In true Jan van Eyck style, this portrait captures the true humanity of the mother and baby (madonna and child) and holds hidden meanings and objects throughout. The hidden but not hidden objects that I want to highlight in this portrait is the Lions on the chair. If you look closely you can see the intricate detail, and they are a nod at the throne of Solomon, which is what Madonna's Lap was referred to in ancient literature. (I know, neat stuff)
In this tell-tale portrait, Holbein gives no guesswork on whether this man is a merchant. He has all the toys and all the tools. The intriguing part of this picture is the flowers. They are Carnations which, at the time of the painting, mean that he was recently engaged. Something that would have been painfully apparent at the time to everyone, is now painfully apparent to all of us.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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