Holbein in England

By Susan Foister

Hans Holbein (1497-1543) is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the sixteenth century. His prolific production of precise and realist portraits of the great figures of this period, including, most famously, King Henry VIII, earned him an international reputation in his own time. "Holbein in England" allows the reader to gain greater insight into the artist's movements between the 1520s and the 1540s, when he moved from Germany and Switzerland to England. Although Holbein gained high acclaim while working in Basel, his periods in England proved equally key in establishing his reputation. Susan Foister, a leading expert on Holbein, considers the ways in which England both influenced, and was influenced by the artist and his work. She guides us through Holbein's background and artistic traditions in the context of Tudor England, and explains how important contacts, including Erasmus, Thomas More and Thomas Cromwell, led him to gain patrons ranging from prosperous merchants to the King himself, for whom he later became exclusive court portraitist. Holbein's methods and techniques are also explored in relation to the artistic culture and religious sentiments of his time.

Stunningly illustrated with over one hundred colour images, "Holbein in England" includes the artist's best-known and loved portraits alongside lesser known but equally important paintings, drawings and designs created for goldsmiths and jewellers. Accompanying a major exhibition at Tate Britain, this book offers a unique insight into Holbein's working methods and techniques, and throws new light on the mutual influence between this most famous of artists and England.

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