A beautiful folio-sized book, profusely illustrated with black-and-white and tipped-in colour plates.
The Artist’s Life
The Religious Pictures
The Mural Paintings
Drawings for Applied Art
Detailed Description of the Plates and Reproductions
About Hans Holbein the Younger (from Wikipedia):
Hans Holbein the Younger (German: Hans Holbein der Jüngere) (c. 1497–1543) was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history of book design. He is called “the Younger” to distinguish him from his father, Hans Holbein the Elder, an accomplished painter of the Late Gothic school.
Holbein’s art was prized from early in his career. The French poet and reformer Nicholas Bourbon dubbed him “the Apelles of our time,” a typical contemporary accolade. Holbein has also been described as a great “one-off” of art history, since he founded no school. After his death, some of his work was lost, but much was collected, and by the 19th century, Holbein was recognised among the great portrait masters. Recent exhibitions have also highlighted his versatility. He turned his fluid line to designs ranging from intricate jewellery to monumental frescoes. Holbein’s art has sometimes been called realist, since he drew and painted with a rare precision. His portraits were renowned in their time for their likeness; and it is through Holbein’s eyes that many famous figures of his day, such as Erasmus and More, are now “seen”. Holbein was never content, however, with outward appearance. He embedded layers of symbolism, allusion, and paradox in his art, to the lasting fascination of scholars. In the view of art historian Ellis Waterhouse, his portraiture “remains unsurpassed for sureness and economy of statement, penetration into character, and a combined richness and purity of style”
Holbein’s fame owes something to that of his sitters. Several of his portraits have become cultural icons. He created the standard image of Henry VIII. In painting Henry as an iconic hero, however, he also subtly conveyed the tyranny of his character. Holbein’s portraits of other historical figures, such as Erasmus, Thomas More, and Thomas Cromwell, have fixed their images for posterity. The same is true for the array of English lords and ladies whose appearance is often known only through his art. For this reason, John North calls Holbein “the cameraman of Tudor history”. In Germany, on the other hand, Holbein is regarded as an artist of the Reformation, and in Europe of humanism.