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Hans Holbein



Hans Holbein The German artist Hans Holbein (the younger) was the greatest artist of his time. He was born in 1497 in Augsburg, Germany. His father Hans Holbein (the elder) was a portrait painter. He passed on his skills to his son who he taught in his studio. Holbein (the Younger) was also a draughtsman and a designer.
In 1515 Holbein and his brother Ambrosius, who was also a painter went to Basle, Switzerland. As they received a lot of work they remained there for
a few years.
He then visited Lucerne another town in Switzerland where it would seem his father was. He then went back to Basle. When Switzerland under went a reformation painting became a precarious way to earn a living for Holbein. He had married Elsbeth Schmidt a widow in around 1520. He then had
a young family to support. So he went to England in 1526.
Desiderius Eramus the Dutch scholar admired the talented artist and got him to do some work for him. He also obtained work through recommendation from Eramus. One of those was Sir Thomas More, who got him to do portraits of his family. It must have been through Sir Thomas More that King Henry VIII took him on as a court painter. It wasn't however a permanent position and after 2 years he returned to Basle. Where his wife and family had remained.
He returned to England in 1532 the following year he painted a well known painting "The Ambassadors" which is in the National Gallery, London. It is known to be a particularly great painting. It is of the French Ambassador Jean de Dinteville and his friend the Bishop of
Lavaur, George de Selve.
He did drawings of leading men of the time which now belong to the Royal collection and are kept in Windsor Castle.
In 1536 he was once again employed by the King and painted the kings 3rd wife Jane Seymour. He also painted a mural of King Henry VII and VIII together with their wives Elizabeth of York and Jane Seymour. The mural was sadly mostly destroyed in a fire only a portion survives. This is of King Henry VIII with his father standing behind him. Holbein died in 1543 due to contracting the plague.

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