Hans Holbein the Younger, ‘Letter F’, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Image rights: Courtesy National Gallery of Art, Washington

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About Hans Holbein the Younger

Considered one of the great portraitists of the 16th century, Hans Holbein came from a family of artists; his father, Hans Holbein the Elder, and his uncle Sigmund were renowned for their late Gothic painting. While living in Basel, Switzerland, Holbein the Younger gained recognition for his woodcut book illustrations, and met the famous Dutch scholar Erasmus, who invited him to illustrate his satire The Praise of Folly. Holbein also illustrated Martin Luther’s German translation of the Bible and produced a famous set of 41 woodcuts depicting the medieval Dance of Death. He later moved to London, where he became court painter to Henry VIII. Epitomizing the Northern Renaissance with his meticulously detailed style, Holbein produced more than 100 miniature and full-size portraits at Henry VIII’s court, of subjects including Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, and the king himself.

German, 1497-1543, Augsburg, Germany, based in London, United Kingdom

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