“Holbein was able to combine his ability to create a very believable likeness with these strong design sensibilities, and also an ingenuity, a cleverness, a creativity to create individual portraits of specificity and complexity.”
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543) depicted some of the most important thinkers and politicians of his day in beautiful, highly individualized portraits. In Basel, he socialized with and painted humanists such as Desiderius Erasmus and Bonifacius Amerbach. In London, he captured nobles and high-ranking officials like Thomas Cromwell and Thomas More. He even became court painter to King Henry VIII in 1536. Holbein also painted many noblewomen, a somewhat unusual practice at the time, paying particular attention to their style of dress.
In this episode, Getty paintings curator Anne Woollett discusses the exhibition Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance, the first large-scale presentation of Holbein’s work in the United States. Woollett highlights key works in the exhibition, placing them in the context of Holbein’s milieu and career. The exhibition is on view at the Getty Center through January 9, 2022 before traveling to the Morgan Library & Museum, New York, in February 2022.
For images, transcripts, and more, visit https://blogs.getty.edu/iris/podcast-hans-holbein-the-youngers-captivating-portraits/ or http://www.getty.edu/podcasts/
To buy the book Holbein: Capturing Character, visit https://shop.getty.edu/products/holbein-capturing-character-978-1606067475
To explore the exhibition Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance, visit https://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/holbein/index.html