Paintings in England (1536-43)
by Hans HOLBEIN the Younger

Holbein's later portraits of the merchants of the German Steelyard tend to be simpler; the mood one of restraint and quiet dignity. This tendency towards simplicity, and the elimination of all accessories, is characteristic of his late portraits. After 1535 the sitters are usually shown in the full light, focused against a background of blue or green, and very often in simple frontal poses. Holbein was, through a reduction of means, seeking a more abstract beauty of form. There is a quality of stillness and remoteness in the late portraits.

The change in Holbein's style may be clearly seen in the portrait of Sir Richard Southwell of 1536. In yet later portraits the sitter tends to become larger in relationship to the picture plane, as in the portrait of Antony the Good, Duke of Lorraine. We become more conscious of the part that the frame plays in relating the sitter to the picture plane; the panels are smaller, and there is an impression of increased concentration and precision. The Unknown Young Man at his Office Desk is a superb example.


Preview Picture Data Info
Derick Berck of Cologne
1536
Oil on canvas transferred from panel, 53 x 41 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Sir Richard Southwell
1536
Oil on wood, 48 x 38 cm
Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence


Portrait of Simon George
1536-37
Oil on oak, diameter 31 cm
Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt


Christina of Denmark, Ducchess of Milan
1538
Oil on oak, 179 x 83 cm
National Gallery, London


Christina of Denmark, Ducchess of Milan (detail)
1538
Oil on oak
National Gallery, London


Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk
1539-40
Tempera on wood, 80 x 62 cm
Royal Collection, Windsor


Lady Rich (Elizabeth Jenks)
c. 1540
Oil and gold on oak panel, 45 x 34 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Lady Lee (Margaret Wyatt)
1542-43
Oil and gold on oak panel, 44 x 34 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Portrait of a Man Holding Gloves and Letter
c. 1540
Oil on wood, 33 x 26 cm
Kunstmuseum, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel


De Vos van Steenwijk
1541
Oil on wood, 48 x 37 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin


Unknown Young Man at his Office Desk
1541
Oil on wood, 47 x 35 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


Portrait of Henry Howard, the Earl of Surrey
1541-43
Oil on wood, 56 x 44 cm
Museu de Arte, São Paulo


Portrait of Sir William Butts
1543
Oil on wood, 47 x 37 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


Portrait of Lady Margaret Butts
1543
Oil on wood, 46 x 37 cm
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston


Portrait of John Chambers
1543
Oil on oak, 58 x 40 cm
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna


Portrait of Duke Antony the Good of Lorraine
c. 1543
Oil on oak, 51 x 37 cm
Staatliche Museen, Berlin


Portrait of a Young Woman
1540-45
Oil and gold on oak panel, 28 x 23 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Edward, Prince of Wales
c. 1545
Oil and gold on oak panel, 28 x 23 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York



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



© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.