Sunday, April 14, 2024

Holbein: Drawing, Painting, Materials & Techniques

The Holbein at the Tudor Court Exhibition at the King's Gallery closes today. I'd spent forever making up my mind about when to go - but not booking - and then realising I need to get a move on. Which is how come I saw it yesterday. You can see some of my pics from it on my Facebook Page

To be absolutely honest, I enjoyed the "Holbein in England" exhibition at Tate Britain in 2007 much more and it remains a vivid memory for me. (see Holbein in England - and at Tate Britain). Mainly because it which contained more portraits by Holebin including my favourite Holbein portrait "A lady with a Squirrel' plus Holbein's portrait of Erasmus

The Kings Gallery exhibition had three parts about artworks by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543)

  • mainly paintings from other artists of the same era
  • drawings by Holbein and miniature portraits by Holbein
  • large paintings and some large portraits and more drawings by Holbein + four miniatures by Holbein
One of the most interesting part of the exhibition came after the exit. A small exhibition in one room at the top of the stairs contained information about Holbein's art materials and the techniques he used for his portrait drawings and also his miniatures.

Holbein: Materials and Techniques

A view of part of "Holbein: Materials and Techniques"

I promptly took photos of all of it and have uploaded them all to an album on Facebook on my Facebook Page called Holbein: Materials and Techniques - so 
  • if you missed it or you enjoy finding out about the materials used by artists in the past, you can have a peek and see for yourself.
  • I've also added comments about specific materials and techniques where I knew something which wasn't included in the exhibition.
There are also more resources about Holbein on the Royal Collection website - listed below
What I find interesting is that Holbein was a royal artist - he was appointed the King's Painter in 1536.  To all intents and purposes his stay in England related to his contacts within the Royal Family and the Tudor Court. 

I've not yet found an explanation for why so many of the better known paintings by Holbein are NOT in the Royal Collection. For example, 
  • the 'cartoon' drawing of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger is in the National Portrait Gallery. This was made in preparation for the very large painting which used to hang in Whitehall Palace - but was destroyed in the fire in1698.
  • The Ambassadors - which is a very large, important and unique painting - is in the National Gallery.
The other interesting fact about Holbein is just how many portraits there are by artists "after Holbein". He was a much copied artist. There again he is regarded as one of the most important portrait artists ever!

If you look at the collection of Holbein portraits and drawings in the National Portrait Gallery, you'll find that most are "after Holbein"

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