This painting memorialises two wealthy, educated and powerful young men. On the left is Jean de Dinteville, French ambassador to England in 1533. To the right stands his friend, Georges de Selve, Bishop of Lavaur, who acted on several occasions as ambassador to the Emperor, the Venetian Republic and the Holy See.†The picture is in a tradition showing learned men with books and instruments. In the foreground is the distorted (anamorphic) image†of a skull, a symbol of mortality. When seen from a point to the right of the picture the distortion is corrected.