HOLBEIN, Hans the Younger
(b. 1497, Augsburg, d. 1543, London)

St John the Baptist

Pen and black ink on a chalk sketch, with a gray wash, 549 x 377 mm
Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

This drawing comes from a series of eight in the Basel Kupferstichkabinett (engravings collection). Holbein probably drew them as cartoons for four pairs of windows in a church in Basel, and they clearly illustrate his close involvement in the manufacture of stained glass. That this drawing was a study for stained glass is clearly shown by the drawing technique - dark strokes of the pen emphasize the contours, there is an absence of hatching, and the forms are modeled by washes. The lively play of the hems of the garments, and powerful, expressive wash are typical of the young Holbein.

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