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
Portrait Medallion of Erasmus of Rotterdam
Tempera on wood, diameter 14 cm
Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

True Color
143 Kb

Portrait of a Man in a Red Cap
Oil and gold on parchment attached to wood, diameter 10 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

True Color
163 Kb

Solomon and the Queen of Sheba
Vellum, 229 x 183 mm
Royal Library, Windsor

True Color
158 Kb

Courtier of Henry VIII and his Wife
Oil on linden panel, diameter 12 cm (each)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

True Color
206 Kb

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

True Color
110 Kb

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

True Color
27 Kb

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

True Color
33 Kb

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

True Color
24 Kb

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

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