Great Pictures, As Seen and Described by Famous Writers

The selections here have been taken from “Great Pictures, as Seen and Described by Famous Writers, Edited and Translated By Esther Singleton, 1899”


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While Michael Angelo worked upon his Moses, Clement VII., following the example of Julius II., would not leave him alone for a moment. It was a trick of all these Popes to exact from the poor artist something different to what he was doing at the time. To obtain some respite, he was forced to promise the Pope that he would occupy himself at the same time with the cartoon of The Last Judgment. But Clement VII. was not a man to be put off with words; he supervised the work in person, and Buonarroti was obliged to pass continually from the chisel to the pencil and from the pen to the mallet. The Last Judgment! Moses! these are two works of little importance and easy to do off-hand! And yet he had to. His Holiness would not listen to reason.

  • Michelangelo

    He was an Italian sculptor, painter, architect, and poet of the High Renaissance who exerted an unparalleled influence on the development of Western art. Considered to be the greatest living artist during his lifetime, he has since been described as one of the greatest artists of all time. Despite making few forays beyond the arts, his versatility in the disciplines he took up was of such a high order that he is often considered a contender for the title of the archetypal Renaissance man, along with his rival and fellow Florentine Medici client, Leonardo da Vinci.

  • Georg Gisze

    Georg Giese (Gisze according to the title of the Holbein painting; born 2 April 1497 in Danzig (Gdańsk), Kingdom of Poland; died on 3 February 1562 in Danzig) was a Hanse merchant.

    As a member of the Hanseatic League Gisze also worked in London where he was portrayed by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1532. After returning to his home city in 1535 he married Christine Krüger, daughter of a prestigious citizen.

    His patrician family, which included Albrecht Gisze, bishop Tiedemann Gisze etc., had come originally from Cologne.

Wie wird das Wetter morgen?



When Holbein returned to London towards the end of 1531, leaving Basle, where he had worked for nearly three years, he found himself immediately occupied with several portraits of the merchants of the Hanseatic League. During his first sojourn in England, he had painted the chancellor, Sir Thomas More, his protector and friend, and he had traced the features of several members of the aristocracy. On his return, circumstances for his gaining access to the court were less favourable. Henry VIII. was obeying his own good pleasure and satisfying all his caprices, and the chancellor was holding aloof, and could not exert his influence. Holbein did not now possess the title of Painter to the King, consequently he had to consider himself happy in obtaining the favour of his compatriots.