Entitled “Galleons and Feathers,” Ann Carrington‘s passion for collecting vintage knick knacks and old pearl necklaces from junk shops aided her creation of her majestic galleons. After watching a documentary about a Chinese pearl jewelry, Carrington decided to construct her project in the Spring of 2014, once she acquired enough pearls.
To begin the sculpture, she weaved bracelets, bangles brooches, tiaras, and other ornate jewelry pieces on a metal structure to accentuate the shape of the ships, which sit on an opulent and glamorous sea of pearls. Called White Cloud City and Wing Wo Wave, the ships are named after two pearl factories in China.
Hans Holbein and the Original OKCupid Date Gone Wrong
By Connor O’Brien
Hans Holbein the Younger, a German painter born in the late fifteenth century, received much attention in England for his exquisite attention to detail, a realism characteristic of Northern Renaissance painting. Because of these technical gifts, he eventually became the court painter to Henry VIII, generating stately portraits that now constitute the popular image of the well-known king. This also roped Holbein into the complex marital politics associated with Henry VIII’s reign.
According to Grove Art, Holbein’s period of greatest activity for Henry VIII was in 1538–9, when he was sent on several journeys abroad in order to portray prospective candidates for the royal marriage. The sister of a German duke, Anne of Cleves, was suggested by Thomas Cromwell as a wife for Henry VIII to strengthen the protestant alliance. King Henry wanted to confirm that she was beautiful enough for him to marry, and he instructed Holbein not to embellish or romanticize her appearance. When the painter returned with the above portrait, the king agreed to the marriage, and the wedding treaty was signed. The new queen, after her first evening with Henry, was not quite as well-received as was the artwork. It apparently portrayed Anne in a far more idealized way than Henry perceived in person. Infamously describing the actual Anne as a “Flanders mare,” he saw in her no potential to conceive children. Holbein’s masterful ability to paint beautifully, in this instance, seemed to betray him.
Despite his disappointment, Henry VIII became close friends with the queen during their short time together, and she managed to escape execution due to her cooperation with the king in annulment proceedings. Henry granted her vast properties in exchange for this agreement, and the two remained extremely fond of each other until his death. Holbein, too, remained in the king’s favor, with the monarch blaming his advisors for the failed marriage (some of whom were not as fortunate as Anne).
The moral of the story? Always request multiple portraits, and from different angles.
Connor O’Brien is an intern for art reference at Oxford University Press.