In the 6th Bond film, You Only Live Twice (1967) , one of Blofeld's possessions is a Madonna of Hans Holbein, best exemplified as the Darmstadt Madonna:

Madonna of Hans Hoblein as seen in the movie

What is the reason it is in the film? I know the work is notorious for having many copies which have confused experts as to their authenticity; is that the reason?

P.S. I have not read any of the books on which films are based, so if the answer is there, I would not know it.

  • 2
    Because Blofeld collects art...?
    – sanpaco
    Sep 6, 2018 at 4:58
  • @sanpaco I think that generally accurate, but I am assuming he would like to know why they specifically chose this painting for the shot - if there is any other meaning there? Wikepedia has some interesting information on the painting itself, but I haven't seen YLOT in a very very long time to be able to remember if any of that relates to characters or plots in the film. I think the first answer, is probably right though. Jan 28, 2019 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


I don't have any sources to cite here, so I'm going with my gut here.

Blofeld here has the original.

Spectre stole the original from Darmstadt and replaced it with one of the copies (and probably faked it well enough to make it pass inspection, since originals in art galleries don't often get re-examined that closely after they've been initially authenticated).

Rinse and repeat for any art work Blofeld/Spectre wants.

Extort/sell the originals back to the owners/highest bidder through a front when a profit is required.

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