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Painting and astronomy, 2

December 17 2013 , Written by Wing-Fai Thi

The Christmas period is special for those of us who work far away from their family and friends. For me it is going back to Paris. I was looking forward to go new exhibitions or stare again at few of my favorite paintings. The Astronomer by Vermeer is on my list but I will also see the portrait of Nikolaus Kratzer.

Nikolaus Kratzer was a fellow German astronomer working at the court of Henri VIII (King of England) of Hans Holbein, the court painter famous for his portrait of the king and the magnificent Ambassadors at the National Gallery in London. Both were also friends with Sir Thomas More and the Dutch philosopher Erasmus, whose portrait is on display in Le Louvre.

National museums are free in Great Britain. When I was living in London or Edinburgh, I spent many rainy Sundays admiring the antiquities, sculptures, or paintings. Even at lunch time the British museum was basically opposite the main University College London cafeteria.

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