Paintings in England (1532-35)
by Hans HOLBEIN the Younger

By 1532 Holbein seems to have realized that there was little possibility of finding a fruitful source of patronage in Basle, and he returned to England. The England of 1532 was dramatically different from that of 1528. Holbein fled from the Reformation in Basle to find England on the edge of a revolution. Almost all Holbein's earlier patrons became involved in the disturbances, some of them were died or were imprisoned. It was imperative that Holbein should find new sources of patronage, and between 1532 and 1536 most of Holbein's patrons were members of a trading community in London, merchants of the German Steelyard. His commissions were mostly for small half-length portraits, in which the sitter is shown in his office, often with his accessories of work scattered about, and holding a letter bearing his name and address. Examples are the portraits of Georg Gisze, Derich Born, a member of the Wedigh Family, Dirk Tybis and Robert Chaseman.

A very different work from this period, The Ambassadors of 1533, also showed foreigners in England. This ambitious painting is a life-size double portrait of Jean de Dinteville, French Ambassador to London, and Georges de Selve, the Bishop of Lavaur. The portrait of Jean de Dinteville's successor, as ambassador to the English court, Charles de Solier, Lord of Morette, shows a comparable richness and amplitude. The Unknown Gentleman with Music Books and Lute is also shown against a curtain; its folds add visual interest to the background.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 28 minutes):
George Frideric Handel: Water Music, Suite No. 1


Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Portrait of a Member of the Wedigh Family
1532
Oil on wood, 42,2 x 32,4 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

802*1051
True Color
93 Kb



Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze
1532
Oil on wood, 96,3 x 85,7 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

1000*1132
True Color
171 Kb



Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze (detail)
1532
Oil on wood
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

831*990
True Color
126 Kb



Portrait of the Merchant Georg Gisze (detail)
1532
Oil on wood
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

1225*805
True Color
149 Kb



Portrait of Sir Nicholas Carew
1532-33
Tempera on wood, 90,8 x 101,5 cm
Drumlanrig Castle, Thornhill, Scotland

889*789
True Color
124 Kb



Portrait of a Member of the Wedigh Family
1533
Oak, 39 x 30 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

802*1049
True Color
61 Kb



Portrait of Derich Born
1533
Oil on oak, 60,3 x 45,1 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

801*1081
True Color
74 Kb



Robert Cheseman
1533
Oil on oak, 59 x 62,5 cm
Mauritshuis, The Hague

1002*953
True Color
153 Kb



Portrait of Dirk Tybis
1533
Oil on oak, 47,7 x 34,8 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

760*1041
True Color
78 Kb



Portrait of Thomas Cromwell
c. 1533
Oak, 76 x 61 cm
Frick Collection, New York

850*1036
True Color
107 Kb



Unknown Gentleman with Music Books and Lute
c. 1534
Oil on wood, 43,5 x 43,5 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin

950*978
True Color
139 Kb



Portrait of an Old Man
-
Oil on panel, 62 x 47 cm
Museo del Prado, Madrid

926*1200
True Color
61 Kb



Portrait of Charles de Solier, Lord of Morette
1534-35
Oak, 92,5 x 75,4 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

883*1080
True Color
119 Kb




Summary of paintings by Hans Holbein the Younger
1515-19 | 1519-25 | altarpieces | 1526-28 | 1529-31
1532-35 | Ambassadors | Henry VIII and his family | 1536-43
drawings and woodcuts | miniatures | Miscellaneous works