Hans Holbein, the Younger (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: A master of portraits and an excellent draftsman, Holbein was an important transitional figure in European art. Holbein’s portraits offer a revealing look at the personalities of his time.
Hans Holbein, the Younger, was born in either 1497 or 1498 in the city of Augsburg, at that time an important commercial center of the Holy Roman Empire. The Holbein family was an artistic one: Hans Holbein, the Elder, was a widely known painter, much sought after for his skill in portraits, while his brother Sigmund was also an artist. The younger Holbein and his brother, Ambrosius, spent their early years learning the craft of painting from their father.
In 1515, Holbein moved to Basel, Switzerland, where he came to the attention of the noted printer and publisher Johann Froben, also known as Frobenius. Holbein was soon actively designing book illustrations and title-page borders for Froben and other printers in Basel. Since Froben was the publisher of Desiderius Erasmus, a noted Humanist scholar, Holbein came to know that internationally famous writer. Through Erasmus, Holbein was introduced to the circle of Humanist thinkers and leaders of the time. Holbein made other important contacts, including a 1516 commission to paint the portrait of Jacob Mayer, Burgomaster of Basel, and his wife; this work is an early indication of Holbein’s mastery of the portrait genre. During this time, he...
(The entire section is 2180 words.)
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