Miniatures
by Hans HOLBEIN the Younger

It was also in England that Holbein began to paint portrait miniatures. He seems to have learned the technique from an artist called Lucas Hornebout, a Flemish painter in the service of Henry VIII. Holbein's miniatures do not differ essentially from his large-scale paintings; his famous miniature of Mrs Pemberton has all the precision of line and clarity of structure of larger portraits. Holbein's miniatures were to be praised by the most famous English miniaturist, Nicholas Hilliard, who later in the century wrote, `Holbean's maner of limning I have ever imitated and howld it for the best'. Hilliard's miniatures, however, transform the miniature from the reduction of a large-scale painting into a jewel-like and daintily patterned objet d'art.

Preview Picture Data File Info Comment
Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
1534-35
Vellum, 22,9 x 18,3 cm
Royal Library, Windsor

807*1010
True Color
158 Kb



Portrait of Philipp Melanchthon
c. 1535
Oak, diameter 9 cm
Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum, Hannover

1080*610
True Color
110 Kb



Portrait of Jane Pemberton
c. 1540
Vellum mounted on playing card, diameter 5,3 cm
Victoria and Albert Museum, London

493*527
True Color
27 Kb



Portrait of an Unknown Lady
c. 1541
Vellum mounted on playing card, diameter 5,1 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

500*498
True Color
33 Kb



Henry Brandon
1541
Vellum mounted on playing card, diameter 5,7 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

444*442
True Color
24 Kb



Charles Brandon
1541
Vellum mounted on playing card, diameter 5,7 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor

446*442
True Color
25 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