Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Speakout Advanced p 15. London Museums and Galleries 2. Extra Listening



Fill in the gaps with a word or phrase.
In the still of night 1____________ faces 2___________ out of the darkness like ghosts from the past. What secrets do they 3__________?  The men in this painting are both French. Jean de Dinteville was an 4____________ at the court of Henry VIII and Georges de Selve was a 5___________ sent to London to 6____________  Henry not to break away from the Catholic Church. There are 7___________ hidden in the painting which tell us how old these men were. They look much older than they are. Jean de Dinteville is 29 – his age is shown on his dagger 8____________ his thumb, and his friend only 25. They stand 9_______________ of scientific and musical instruments to show that they are educated men. The objects also allow Holbein to show off his 10_____________ painting difficult shapes and 11___________ details. The sundials on the top shelf are a reminder that time is 12___________________ until we die. In front of the two men there is something which isn’t at first 13_______________. It’s a huge 14__________ skull. It’s been painted in such a way that you can only see it properly if you are standing to the 15______________________ and looking in the right direction. Perhaps it 16______________ you should look things from a different perspective. The skull is used here, as it is in other portraits, as an image of death. Skulls were often 17_________________ portraits as a reminder that life is short. And people had their portraits painted 18________________ they could be remembered after their deaths.

KEY

1. wide-awake



2. gaze (to look steadily at somebody/something for a long time. E.g. he could only gaze at her in astonishment)



3. hold



4. ambassador



5. bishop



6.  persuade



7.  clues



8. beneath



9.  either side



10.  skill at



11. intricate /ˈɪntrɪkət/ having a lot of different parts and small details that fit together. Sp. complejo. E.g. intricate patterns. An intricate network of loyalties and relationships



12. ticking away (tick sth away to mark the time as it passes. E.g. The clock ticked away the minutes.)



13. recognisable



14. distorted



15.  right-hand side



16.  implies that



17.  incorporated into 



18. so that



 

Transcript
In the still of night wide-awake faces gaze out of the darkness like ghosts from the past. Who are they? What secrets do they hold? And why did they want paintings of themselves? There are answers to some of the questions, but not all. The men in this painting are both French. Jean de Dinteville on the left was an ambassador at the court of Henry VIII (the eighth) and Georges de Selve was a bishop sent to London to persuade Henry not to break away from the Catholic Church. De Dinteville paid the artist Holbein to paint this portrait to record his friend’s visit to London. There are clues hidden in the painting which tell us how old these men were. They’re much younger than they look. Jean de Dinteville is 29 – his age is shown on his dagger beneath his thumb, and his friend only 25. What might they look like if they were alive today? They stand either side of scientific and musical instruments that show that they are educated men. The objects also allow Holbein to show off his skill at painting difficult shapes and intricate details. The sundials on the top shelf are a reminder that time is ticking away until we die. There is a curious shape in front of the two men which isn’t at first recognisable. It’s a huge distorted skull. It’s been painted in such a way that you can only see it properly if you are standing to the right-hand side and looking in the right direction. Perhaps it implies that you should look things from a different point of view. The skull is used here, as it is in other portraits, as an image of death. Skulls were often incorporated into portraits as a reminder that life is short. And people had their portraits painted so that they could be remembered after their deaths.

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