Holbein was an extraordinarily talented draftsman and painter. The exhibition contains a large number of drawings and partly focuses on the process of producing a work - from drawing to painting and reunites many drawings with the painting which resulted. One special feature is that - for the very first time - one room contains Holbein's portraits of Henry VIII, his queen Jane Seymour and their son Edward VI (as the Prince of Wales) all in one room. It may never happen again.
As it was still the holiday period, "he who must not be bored while I sketch" and I agreed to go in the early morning and aim to arrive just after it opened at 10.00am. We duly arrived at 10.10am, walked in - and it was packed!!! I think maybe a few people had the same idea........
I got home only to find that Shirley (Paper and Threads blog) - who I drew with at the V&A on Thursday - and her husband were about three rooms behind us as they got there about 10.30am! On which basis one of my readers probably also visited it last Sunday and is in one of my sketches unbeknown to me!
(There was an interesting example of 'serendipidity' on Karen Jurick's blog recently. She had been visiting a museum at the same time as one of her readers and then discovered that she'd taken a photo of her - which resulted in a painting and a description of the incident here)
Anyway back to the Tate. my sketches are of people viewing the paintings and of the Tate Cafe. Pen and ink on site, notes made about colours and then coloured pencil added later. You may notice that the lady on the left in the first cafe sketch has a pencil in her hand and, judging by her head movements, she was also drawing! Maybe we should have a competition to all go to a museum and meet up 2 hours after the start time and see how many people have sketched one another without realising that they were part of the participating group! ;)
I used to have some of Holbein's drawings on the wall of my room at college - I just love looking at them. I've got the catalogue of the exhibition which is fascinating - and, as part of my plan for 2007, I'll be studying Holbein more when my drawing heads class resumes in mid-January. So more about Holbein later! But if you'd like to find out more as well I'm including links to resources made available by the exhibition below.
Do take a look at the rooms and admire the drawings - they're sublime.
[Update: Apologies to those who thought I was rewriting history yesterday! My inadvertent error has been corrected]
- Tate Britain - Holbein in England - finishes 7th January 2007
- Room guide to Holbein in England - click on each room to see the works on display in that room
- Timeline for Holbein
- Messages from a Master - essay on Holbein and specific images by Michael Onfray, Jenny Uglow, Chuck Close, George Carey and Derek Wilson