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

Study for the Family Portrait of Sir Thomas More

c. 1527
Pen and brush in black on top of chalk sketch, 389 x 524 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

This is a preparatory study for the lost group portrait of the More family. The astronomer Nikolaus Kratzer (1487-1550), who taught in the More household, has noted in Latin besides the figures their names and ages. On the left is Elizabeth Dauncy (1506-1564), Thomas More's youngest daughter, while beside her is the adopted daughter Margaret Giggs (1508-1570) explaining a point of text to old Sir John More (c. 1451-1530). Thomas More sits grandly in the centre, with (left and right of him) the engaged couple Anne Cresacre (1512-1577) and young John More (c. 1509-1547), Thomas More's only son. Beside John More, and looking directly out of the picture, is the household fool, Henry Patenson. On the right of the picture are Cecily Heron, born 1507, and his eldest daughter, Margaret Roper, (1505-1544); his second wife, Lady Alice, kneeling at a prie-dieu, rounds off the picture on the right.




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