Overview

After the Reformation had brought social and political upheaval to Germany, creating an unfavorable climate for artists, Holbein moved to England in 1526. He first painted for Sir Thomas More's circle of high servants of the crown and then became painter to the King himself, Henry VIII. As court painter Holbein produced portraits, festival sets and other decorations intended to exalt the King and the Tudor dynasty, and also designs for jewelry and metalwork.

In his portraits Holbein endowed his sitters with a powerful physical presence which was increasingly held in check by the psychological reserve and elegance of surface appropriate to a court setting. This portrait of Henry VIII's only legitimate son and much desired male heir exemplifies these qualities. Edward was born on 12 October 1537 to Henry's third wife, Jane Seymour, and this portrait appears to be the one given to the King on the New Year of 1539. The form of the portrait and the long Latin verse provided by the poet Richard Morison flatter the royal father and emphasize the succession.

Holbein depicted the baby prince as erect and self-possessed, one hand holding a scepter and the other open in a gesture of blessing. His frontal pose before a parapet is a type reserved for royalty or for images of holy figures.

Inscription

across bottom: PARVVLE PATRISSA, PATRIÆ VIRTVTIS ET HÆRES / ESTO, NIHIL MAIVS MAXIMVS ORBIS HABET. / GNATVM VIX POSSVNT COELVM ET NATVRA DEDISSE, / HVIVS QVEM PATRIS, VICTVS HONORET HONOS. / ÆQVATO TANTVM, TANTI TV FACTA PARENTIS, / VOTA HOMINVM, VIX QVO PROGREDIANTVR, HABENT / VINCITO, VICISTI. QVOT REGES PRISCVS ADORAT / ORBIS, NEC TE QVI VINCERE POSSIT, ERIT. Ricard: Morysini. Car: (Little one, emulate thy father and be the heir of his virtue; the world contains nothing greater. Heaven and earth could scarcely produce a son whose glory would surpass that of such a father. Do thou but equal the deeds of thy parent and men can ask no more. Shouldst thou surpass him, thou hast outstript all kings the world has revered in ages past.)

Marks and Labels

null

Provenance

Gift of the artist on 1 January 1539 to Henry VIII, King of England [1509-1547].[1] Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey [1585-1646], Arundel Castle, Sussex, and Arundel House, London, by 1639, and Amsterdam, from 1643;[2] by inheritance to his wife, Alathea Howard [d. 1654], Antwerp and Amsterdam.[3] Probably William III, King of England and Stadholder-King of the Netherlands [1650-1702], Het Loo, Apeldoorn, possibly by c. 1700.[4] Ernest Augustus I, Duke of Cumberland and King of Hanover [1771-1851], Royal Castle, Georgengarten, Hanover, by 1844;[5] by descent to his son, George V, King of Hanover [1819-1878]; by descent to his son, Ernest Augustus II, Duke of Cumberland and Crown Prince of Hanover [1845-1923]; (P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London, by 1925); (M. Knoedler & Co., London and New York, 1925);[6] purchased July 1925 by Andrew W. Mellon, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 30 March 1932 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh; gift 1937 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1863
On loan to the Royal-Welfen Museum, Hanover, by 1863 until the 1870s.
1876
Royal Collection housed at Landschaftstrasse 3, Hanover, by 1876.
1891
Fidei-Kommiss Galerie des Gesamthaus Braunschweig-Lüneberg, Provinzial Musuem, Hanover, 1891-1924.
1928
A Loan Exhibition of Twelve Masterpieces of Painting, M. Knoedler & Co., New York, 1928, no. 6.
1995
Dynasties: Painting in Tudor and Jacobean England 1530-1630, Tate Gallery, London, 1995-1996, no. 6, repro. and cover.
2000
Hans Holbein, Edward VI. als Kind. Ein Wiedersehen, Niedersächsisches Landesmuseum Hannover, 2000, no. 1, repro.
2003
Hans Holbein the Younger 1497/98-1543: Portraitist of the Renaissance, Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen Mauritshuis, The Hague, 2003, no. 33, repro.
2006
Holbein in England, Tate Britain, London, 2006-2007, no. 108, repro.

Bibliography

1753
Uffenbach, Zacharias Conrad von. Merkwürdige Reisen durch Niedersachsen Holland und Engelland. 3 vols. 1753-1754. Ulm, 1753: 2:376-377.
1755
Bickham, George. Deliciae Britannicae, or, The Curiosities of Kensington, Hampton Court, and Windsor Castle, Deliniate. London, 1755: 25, 33, no. 14.
1836
Passavant, Johann David. Tour of a German Artist in England. Translated by Elizabeth Eastlake. 2 vols. London, 1836: 1:102, no.5.
1844
Molthan, Justus. Verzeichniss der Bildhauerwerke und Gemälde, welche sich in den königlich hannoverschen Schlössern und Gebäuden befinden. Hanover, 1844: 65, no. 12.
1854
Waagen, Gustav Friedrich. Treasures of Art in Great Britain: Being an Account of the Chief Collections of Paintings, Drawings, Sculptures, Illuminated Mss.. 3 vols.Translated by Elizabeth Rigby Eastlake. London, 1854: 2:448.
1859
Nichols, John Gough. A Catalogue of the Portraits of King Edward the Sixth, both Painted and Engraved. S.l., 1859: 3, no. 2.
1863
Franks, Augustus W. "Remarks on the Discovery of the Will of Hans Holbein." Archaeologia 39 (1863): 8-9.
1863
Nichols, John Gough. "Notices of the Contemporaries and Successors of Holbein." Archaeologia 39 (1863): 20.
1863
Parthey, Gustav Friedrich. Deutscher Bildersaal. Verzeichniss der in Deutschland vorhandenen Oelbilder verstorbener Maler aller Schulen. 2 vols. Berlin, 1863: 1:600, no. 29.
1864
Das königlich Welfen-Museum zu Hannover im Jahre 1863. Hannover, 1864: 93, no. 239.
1866
Woltmann, Alfred. Holbein und seine Zeit. Leipzig, 1866: 333-334. (Leipzig, 1874 ed., 460-461; English ed., London, 1872: 431-433.)
1867
Wornum, Ralph Nicholson. Some Account of the Life and Works of Hans Holbein, Painter, of Augsburg. London, 1867: 322-324.
1876
S.n. Verzeichniss der zum Vermögen des Königs Georg gehörenden Gemälde, welche sich in dem Hause Nr. 3 der Landschaftstrasse zu Hannover befinden. Hannover, 1876: 80, no. 440.
1891
Eisenmann, Oskar. Katalog der zum Ressort der königlichen Verwaltungs-Kommission gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden, Skulpturen und Alterthümern im Provinzal-Museumsgebäude an der Prinzenstrasse Nr. 4 zu Hannover. Hannover, 1891: 117, no. 186.
1897
Knackfuss, Hermann. Holbein der Jüngere. Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1897: 132, 136, 138, fig. 130. (English ed. Bielefeld and Leipzig, 1899: 147, repro. 138.)
1902
Eisenmann, Oskar. Katalog der zur Fideicommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden und Skulpturen im Provinzial-Museum Rudolf v. Bennigsenstrasse 1 zu Hannover. Hannover, 1902: 117, no. 186
1903
Davies, Gerald S. Hans Holbein the Younger. London, 1903: 177.
1905
Eisenmann, Oskar. Katalog der zur Fideikommiss-Galerie des Gesamthauses Braunschweig und Lüneburg gehörigen Sammlung von Gemälden und Skulpturen im Provinzial-Museum Rudolf v. Bennigsenstr. 1 zu Hannover. Hannover, 1905: 61-62, no. 150.
1907
Hanfstaengl, Franz. The Masterpieces of Holbein the Younger: Sixty Reproductions of Photographs. London, 1907: 1, 11, 66, repro. (Reprinted New York, 1912.)
1907
Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. "Holbein, Hans, d. J." In Thieme-Becker. 37 vols. Leipzig, 1907-1950: 17(1924):351.
1911
Cox, Mary L. "Notes on the Collections formed by Thomas Howard." The Burlington Magazine 19 (April to September 1911): 323.
1912
Cust, Lionel. "Notes on the Collections Formed by Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, K. G. -V." The Burlington Magazine 21, no. 112 (July 1912): 258, no. 30.
1912
Ganz, Paul. Hans Holbein d. J.: des Meisters Gemälde in 252 Abbildungen. Klassiker der Kunst 20. Stuttgart and Leipzig, 1912: 242, fig. 122.
1913
Chamberlain, Arthur B. Hans Holbein the Younger. 2 vols. London, 1913: 2:164-165, 205, 354, pl. 22.
1917
Cust, Lionel. "The Lumley Inventories." Walpole Society 6 (1917/1918): 22, 31, 32, 34.
1920
Baker, Charles Henry Collins. "Notes on Syon House Pictures, Part 2." The Connoisseur 57, no. 228 (July 1920): 193, 196.
1920
Zoege von Manteuffel, Klaus . Hans Holbein Der Maler. Munich, 1920: 53, repro.
1921
Hervey, Mary F. S. The Life, Correspondence, & Collections of Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel. Cambridge, 1921: 482.
1927
Vaughan, Malcolm. "Holbein Portraits in America, Part II." International Studio 88 (1927): 63-64, fig. 66.
1928
"Amerika: New-York." Pantheon 1 (1928): 270, 273, repro.
1929
Rutter, Frank. “Notes from Abroad.” International Studio 94 (September 1929): 66, repro.
1929
Stein, Wilhelm. Holbein. Berlin, 1929: 308, 310.
1931
Frankfurter, Alfred M. "Thirty-five Portraits from American Collections." The Art News 29, no. 33 (1931): 4, 27, repro.
1936
Kuhn, Charles L. A Catalogue of German Paintings of the Middle Ages and Renaissance in American Collections. Cambridge, Mass., 1936: 83, no. 370, fig. 80.
1937
Christoffel, Ulrich. "Das Kinderbildnis." Die Kunst 75 (1937): 226, repro.
1937
Cortissoz, Royal. An Introduction to the Mellon Collection. Boston, 1937: 43.
1937
Jewell, Edward Alden. "Mellon's Gift." Magazine of Art 30, no. 2 (February 1937): 79, 82, repro.
1937
"Trends: Art." American Architect and Architecture. 150 (March 1937): 4, repro.
1938
Reinhardt, Hans. Holbein. Translated from the French by Prudence Montagu-Pollock. London, 1938: 102, repro.
1938
Waetzoldt, Wilhelm. Hans Holbein der Jüngere: Werk und Welt.. Berlin, 1938: 197-198, pl. 93.
1940
McBride, Ruth Q. "Old Masters in a New National Gallery." The National Geographic Magazine 78 (1 July 1940): 17, repro.
1941
Held, Julius S. "Masters of Northern Europe, 1430-1660, in the National Gallery." Art News 40, no. 8 (June 1941): 12, 15, repro.
1941
Preliminary Catalogue of Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1941: 98-99, no. 64.
1942
National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution. Book of Illustrations. Washington, 1941: 240, no. 64, repro.
1943
Ganz, Paul. "Holbein and Henry VIII." The Burlington Magazine 83, no. 488 (November 1943): 272, pl. A.
1944
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1944: 82, color repro.
1945
Edwin Seaver. Advertisement for Edward VI as Prince of Wales facsimile. Book of the Month Club News. May 1945: cover, inside back cover, color repro.
1945
Parker, Karl Theodore. The Drawings of Hans Holbein in the Collection of His Majesty the King at Winsor Castle. London and New York, 1945: 49, under no. 46, repro.
1948
Louchheim, Aline B. "Children Should Be Seen." Art News Annual 46 (1948): 55-56, repro.
1948
Schmid, Heinrich Alfred. Hans Holbein der Jüngere. Sein Aufstieg zur Meisterschaft und sein Englischer Stil. 3 vols. 1945-1948. Basel, 1948: 2:376.
1949
Paintings and Sculpture from the Mellon Collection. National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1949 (reprinted 1953 and 1958): 64, repro. (Reprinted 1953 and 1958.)
1950
Christoffel, Ulrich. Hans Holbein D.J. Berlin, 1950: repro. (as “Philadelphia, Nationalgalerie”).
1950
Ganz, Paul. Hans Holbein: Die Gemälde, eine Gesamtausgabe. Basel, 1950: 235, no. 105, fig. 146. (English ed. The Paintings of Hans Holbein, First Complete Edition. London, 1950.)
1950
Goldblatt, Maurice H. "Leonardo da Vinci and Andrea Salai." The Connoisseur 125, no. 516 (June 1950): 73-74, repro.
1951
Grossmann, Fritz. "Holbein, Flemish Paintings, and Everhard Jabach." The Burlington Magazine 93, no. 574 (January 1951): 21.
1951
King, Marian. Portfolio Number 3. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1951: no. 2, color repro.
1951
Whittet, George Sorley. "A Gallery of Art Dealers: P. & D. Colnaghi." The Studio 142, no. 703 (October 1951): 117, repro.
1954
Tietze, Hans. Treasures of the Great National Galleries. New York, 1954: 112.
1956
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1956: 40, repro.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957: fig. 72. (Reprinted 1959.)
1958
Cauman, Samuel. The Living Museum: Experiences of an Art Historian and Museum Director Alexander Dorner. New York, 1958: 30-31, 47.
1958
Millar, Oliver. "Abraham van der Doort's Catalogue of the Collections of Charles I." Walpole Society 37 (1958-1960): 108, no. 22, 233.
1958
Waetzoldt, Wilhelm. Hans Holbein der Jüngere. Königstein im Taunus, 1958: 24, 71, 80, repro.
1960
Broadley Hugh T. German Painting in the National Gallery of Art (Booklet no. 9 in Ten Schools of Painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC). Washington, 1960: 10, 40-41, color repro.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott, and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 20.
1962
John Woodward. A Picture History: British Painting. London, 1962: 12-13, repro.
1963
Foskett, Daphne. British Portrait Miniatures: A History. London, 1963: 57.
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 120, repro. 121.
1965
Cooke, Hereward Lester. Galeria Nacional de Washington. Translated by Maria Teresa de la Cruz. Madrid, 1965: 229-230, fig. 53.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 68-69
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 1:120, color repro.
1967
Russell, Francis. The World of Dürer, 1471-1528. Time-Life Library of Art. New York, 1967: 153, color repro.
1967
Strong, Roy C. Holbein and Henry VIII. London and New York, 1967: 14, 17-18, repro.
1968
Cuttler, Charles D. Northern Painting, from Pucelle to Bruegel: Fourteenth, Fifteenth, and Sixteenth Centuries. New York, 1968: 318, 415, fig. 558.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture: Illustrations (Companion to the Summary Catalogue, 1965). Washington, 1968: 60, no. 64, repro.
1968
Galvan, Jose Maria Moreno, ed. Galleria Nazionale di Washington. Madrid, 1968: 35, fig. 6, 27.
1968
Gandolf, Giampaolo et al. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Great Museums of the World. New York, 1968: 13, 104, color repro.
1968
Saarinen, Aline. “Edward VI as a Child.” McCall’s 96, no. 2 (November 1968): 37, color repro.
1969
Strong, Roy. Tudor & Jacobean Portraits. 2 vols. London, 1969: 91-92, pl. 164.
1970
Cooke, Hereward Lester. The National Gallery of Art in Washington. Munich and Ahrbeck/Hanover, 1970: 90-91, color fig. 42.
1971
Salvini, Roberto and Hans Werner Grohn. L'Opera pittorica completa di Holbein il Giovane. Milan, 1971: 106, no. 115, pl. 50.
1974
Drossaers, Sophie Wilhelmina Albertine, and Th. H. Lunsingh Scheurleer. Inventarissen van de inboedels in de verblijven van de Oranjes en daarmede gelijk te stellen stukken 1567-1795. 3 vols. The Hague, 1974-1976: 1:679, no. 886, 700, no. 10.
1975
Cinotti, Mia, ed. The National Gallery of Art of Washington and Its Paintings. Great Galleries of the World. Edinburgh, 1975: unpaginated, no. 97, repro.
1975
European Paintings: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1975: 176, no. 64, repro. 177.
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 160, repro. 161.
1976
Langdon, Helen. Holbein. Oxford, 1976: 16, color pl. 45.
1978
King, Marian. Adventures in Art: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1978: 33, fig. 11.
1979
Gelder, Jan Gerrit van. "The Stadholder-King William III as Collector and `Man of Taste'." William & Mary and Their House. Exh. cat. The Pierpont Morgan Library, New York, 1979: 35-36.
1979
Hadley, Rollin van N. "What Might Have Been: Pictures Mrs. Gardner Did Not Acquire." Fenway Court (1979): 37, 42, no. 21, repro.
1979
Roberts, Jane. Holbein. London, 1979: 85, repro. 84.
1979
Watson, Ross. The National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1979: 56, 57, pl. 40.
1981
Valdstejna, Zdenek Brtnický z . The Diary of Baron Waldstein: A Traveller in Elizabethan England. Translated and annotated by G.W. Groos. London, 1981: 14, 46-47, color pl. 2.
1983
Foister, Susan. Drawings by Holbein from the Royal Library Windsor Castle. London, 1983: 2, 21, 32, 43 under no. 46, fig. 44.
1983
Wolff, Martha. German Art of the Late Middle Ages and Renaissance in the National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1983: unpaginated, repro.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 160, no. 176, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 204, repro.
1985
Rowlands, John. Holbein: The Paintings of Hans Holbein the Younger, Complete Edition. Oxford, 1985: 116, 146-147, no. 70, color pl. 32, pl. 110.
1985
Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350-1575. New York, 1985: 397, fig. 462.
1986
Mittler, Gene A. Art in Focus. Peoria, 1986: 239, fig. 13.13. Fourth ed. New York, 2000: 413, fig. 18.15.)
1987
Berenson, Bernard and Isabella Stewart Gardner. The Letters of Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner 1887-1924. Edited by Rollin van Hadley. Boston, 1987: 25-26,98, 101, 107, 109, 111-112, 118, 166.
1987
Roberts, Jane. Drawings by Holbein from the Court of Henry VIII. Fifty Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Windsor Castle. Exh. cat. The Museum of Fine Arts. Houston, 1987: 86, under no. 25, repro.
1988
Brenninkmeyer-de Rooij, Beatrijs, et al. Paintings from England. William III and the Royal Collections. Exh. cat. Koninklijk Kabinet van Schilderijen "Mauritshuis." The Hague, 1988: 39, 60, 117-118, no. 13, fig. 11b.
1989
Southgate, M. Therese. "The Cover." Journal of the American Medical Association 261, no. 12 (24/31 March 1989): cover, 1,685, color repro.
1990
Ainsworth, Maryan W. "`Paternes for phiosioneamyes': Holbein's Portraiture Reconsidered." The Burlington Magazine 132, no. 1044 (March 1990): 182-183.
1990
Campbell, Lorne. Renaissance Portraits: European Portrait-Painting in the 14th, 15th and 16th Centuries. New Haven, 1990: 104, fig. 122.
1991
Kopper, Philip. America's National Gallery of Art: A Gift to the Nation. New York, 1991: 157, color repro.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 70, repro.
1993
Hand, John Oliver, with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, 1993: 83-91, color fig.
1993
Pointon, Marcia. Hanging the Head: Portraiture and Social Formation in Eighteenth-Century England. New Haven, 1993: 177-178, fig. 206.
1995
Löcher, Kurt. Review of German Paintings of the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Centuries, by John Oliver Hand with the assistance of Sally E. Mansfield. Kunstchronik 43 no. 1 (January 1995): 16.
1995
Pearson, PLC. "Pearson is delighted to sponsor 'Dynasties'." (Advertisement) Tate: The Art Magazine no. 7 (Winter 1995): back cover, color repro.
1996
Hoppe, Felicitas. "Aber der Schöpfer bis Du." Art, Das Kunstmagazin no. 7 (July 1997): 50-51, color repro.
1997
Bätschmann, Oskar, and Pascal Griener. Hans Holbein. Translated from German by Cecilia Hurley and Pascal Griener. London, 1997: 9, 185, 187, 189, color fig. 245.
1997
Henderson, Anne. "Portraits & Personalities." Washington Parent (November 1997): 14, 15, repro.
1998
Klinger, D. M. and Antje Hötter. Die Malerbrüder Ambrosius und Hans d.J. Holbein: Werkverzeichnis, Gemälde und Miniaturen. Nürnberg, 1998: 216-217, no. 73, repro.
1998
Tortora, Phyllis G., and Keith Eubank. Survey of Historic Costume: A History of Western Dress. 3rd ed. New York, 1998: 191, fig. 8.15.
1999
Aslet, Clive. The Story of Greenwich. London, 1999: 61, repro.
1999
Buck, Stephanie. Hans Holbein 1497/98-1543. Translated by Paul Aston. Cologne, 1999: 120-121, color fig. 112.
2000
Kirsh, Andrea, and Levenson, Rustin S. Seeing Through Paintings: Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies. Physical Examination in Art Historical Studies, vol. 1. New Haven, 2000: 162-163, color fig. 167.
2001
Southgate, M. Therese. The Art of JAMA II: Covers and Essays from The Journal of the American Medical Association. Chicago, 2001: 68-69, 210, color repro.
2002
Das Niedersächsische Landesmuseum Hannover. 150 Jahre Museum in Hannover, 100 Jahre Gebäude am Maschpark. Hannover, 2002: 34-35, repro.
2002
S.n. “Nieuws: Holbein.” Mauritshuis in Focus 15, no. 3 (December 2002): 3, repro.
2004
Foister, Susan. Holbein and England. New Haven, 2004: 18, 59, 65, 196-198, color fig. 200.
2004
Hand, John Oliver. National Gallery of Art: Master Paintings from the Collection. Washington and New York, 2004: 148-149, no. 114, color repro.
2004
Wolf, Norbert. Hans Holbein the Younger, 1497/98-1543: The German Raphael. Translated by John Gabriel. Cologne, 2004: 82-83, 88-90, color repro.
2005
Michelman, Dorothea S. "A German Treasure Trove: The National Gallery of Art." German Life (June/July 2005): 42, color fig.
2005
Sander, Jochen. Hans Holbein D.J. Tafelmaler in Basel 1515-1532. Munich, 2005: 36, 33 nt. 123, fig. 9.
2005
Snyder, James. Northern Renaissance Art: Painting, Sculpture, the Graphic Arts from 1350 to 1575. Revised by Larry Silver and Henry Luttikhuizen. Upper Saddle River, 2005: 390-391, color fig. 15.26.
2007
Woods, Kim W. "Holbein and the Reform of Images." In Viewing Renaissance Art, edited by Kim W. Woods, Carol M. Richardson and Angeliki Lymberopoulou. Renaissance Art Reconsidered 3. London, 2007: 283-284, color fig. 7.31.
2011
Nuechterlein, Jeanne. Translating Nature Into Art: Holbein, The Reformation, and Renaissance Rhetoric. University Park, Pennsylvania, 2011: title page, 157-158, color fig. 83.
2014
Bätschmann, Oskar, and Pascal Griener. Hans Holbein. Rev. and expanded second edition. Translated from German by Cecilia Hurley and Pascal Griener. London, 2014: 10, 267, 269, 301, color fig. 260.
2014
Nuechterlein, Jeanne. "German Renaissance Art Through the Eyes of the National Gallery." Burlington 156, no. 1,331 (February 2014): 79-80.

Technical Summary

The painting comprises two boards with vertical grain. From the x-radiograph it appears that the panel may once have been split along the join line and reglued. The dendrochronological examination conducted by Peter Klein did not produce data that matched the existing master chronologies for Europe and thus yielded neither a date nor confirmation of an earlier examination made by John Fletcher.[1] The panel has been thinned and cradled, and strips of wood approximately 0.95 cm wide have been added to the sides and the top. There is no barbe, and the panel was not painted in an engaged frame. There is nothing to suggest the panel has been cut down. Rather, the fact that the ground is either very thin or nonexistent for a width of approximately 1 cm along the top and bottom edges and that there is a raised lip of ground along the right end of the bottom edge suggest that the panel was held in a clamp or on some sort of easel when the ground was applied. Over the smooth, thick, white ground there is a salmon-pink imprimatura of medium thickness. Examination with infrared reflectography discloses a fine, delicate underdrawing Iying over the imprimatura, probably done with a brush and also visible to the naked eye. There are slight changes in the eyelids, which in the underdrawing were somewhat higher, and in the hand holding the rattle, where the middle finger once was parallel to the index finger and both extended farther to the lower left.

Various techniques were used in this picture. The paint has been very precisely and smoothly applied; glazes and layering have been used in several areas. The paint layers extend to the edges of the panel on all sides. A thick, white layer underlies much of the green drapery, possibly to counter any effect of the pink imprimatura below. The fine, gold lines found in the brocade and decorative details appear to be shell gold brushed over a warm brown or yellow base. In the hat thick, light ocher-toned areas under the gold act as a bole or mordant to provide a warm color base for the gold. The gray-brown portions of the cap are silver leaf, which originally may have been covered by a red glaze.

Except for the hat, many or nearly all of the uppermost layers of the red paint are missing. The remaining reds have a cracked and crizzled appearance. Optical microscopy indicates that the pigment used for the background is smalt, which has discolored to gray and, as indicated by the edges under the frame rabbet, would originally have been closer to a brighter slate blue. Apart from the aforementioned damage, the painting is secure and in reasonably good condition. There is damage and a large abraded loss in the background at the left above the child's arm. There are tiny scattered losses in the left cheek and a thin series of old losses along the join line.


[1] See Peter Klein's examination report, 24 September 1987, in NGA curatorial files. John Fletcher examined the painting on 3-4 October 1979 and put forward a date of 1533/1545 for the earliest likely use of the panel (report, 7-8 November 1979, in NGA curatorial files).

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