Hans Holbein the Younger was a German-Swiss painter who rose to become the greatest and most influential portraitist of 16th century Europe. Mostly active in Tudor England, his work is among the most important to have survived from the era, which makes the Royal Collection Trust’s new exhibition dedicated to dedicated to his work so exciting.
Born in circa 1497, Holbein was the son of Hans Holbein the Elder, an accomplished and famous gothic artist in his own right who was active in many parts of Europe. Holbein the Younger would follow in these footsteps working in Basel, Switzerland, before moving to Rotterdam in the Netherlands. In 1526, the artist moved to England in search of work carrying a recommendation from none other than Dutch philosopher Erasmus, who he had also created a portrait of.
This proved to be the break the artist needed, and he went on to paint many of England’s most famous people at the time, including Henry VIII, Anne Boleyn, Sir Thomas More (later a martyr and saint), and Edward V. He is also famous for creating the portrait of Anne of Cleves, which was what Henry VIII based his decision to make her his fourth wife on.
Holbein the Younger’s Renaissance style made him a celebrity in his lifetime, and his work inspired a whole generation of English artists.
This is exactly what this new exhibition, entitled Holbein at the Tudor Queen, looks to showcase. In fact, it will feature a mix of art made by the German-Swiss master himself, as well as other Tudor court artists who went on to paint the likes of Mary I and Elizabeth I.
The exhibition, which will run between November 10, 2023, and April 14, 2024, at The Queen’s Gallery in London, will include numerous Hans Holbein paintings, drawing, miniatures, and book illustrations, as well as art by other famous artists of the age, including the Italian Renaissance sculptor Guido Mazzoni.
If you’re in London during this time, we certainly recommend checking it out! Tickets to the exhibition are selling at £19 for adults, £12 for young adults aged 18 and 24, and £9.50 for children aged between 5 and 17 or those living with a disability. Bookings are already open on the Royal Collection Trust site.