This Henry Gillard Glindoni painting depicts John Dee, a Renaissance man both figuratively and literally. Dee was a mathematician, student of the occult, astrologer, and natural philosopher who, at one point, became the medical and scientific adviser of Queen Elizabeth I ("John Dee"). In this depiction of John Dee his is seen either peforming an experiment or perhaps conjouring a spirit, but this is not the initial composition that Glindoni had in mind. Recent x-rays show that Glindoni had originally painted several skulls into the scene, which were later painted over (Brown). This type of change presents us with an interseting question, did Glindoni intend to enhance the composition or please the buyer? To read more about this piece see the links below.
Original Article: Brown, Mark. "John Dee painting originally had circle of human skulls, x-ray imaging reveals". The Guardian. Web. 23 Jan 2016. Link.
"John Dee". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica Inc., 2016. Web. 24 Jan. 2016 <http://www.britannica.com/biography/John-Dee>.
"John Dee performing an experiment before Queen Elizabeth I" by Henry Gillard Glindoni. 1913. Link.