Gothic Era




Gothic Art Map

 



Hans Holbein the Elder



 
 
 
Holbein
 

German family of artists. Hans Holbein, who became one of the leading painters in south Germany, was the son of Michael Holbein, a tanner, who may have settled in Augsburg from Basle, and of Anna Mair, through whom he was related to important artists working in and near Augsburg. These included his uncles Hans Mair (probably identical with the painter Mair von Landshut) and Michel Erhart, and his cousins Gregor Erhart, Paulus Erhart and Hans Daucher, all of whom were sculptors. Apparently included in Hans Holbein’s workshop was his brother Sigmund Holbein (d Berne, 1540), whom Hans portrayed in a drawing (1512; London, BM). In 1501 they were together at Frankfurt am Main and in 1516–17 Sigmund took proceedings against his brother, who had already left Augsburg. No documented work by Sigmund Holbein survives. Hans Holbein married c. 1494, but the identity of his wife is unknown; their two sons, Ambrosius Holbein and Hans Holbein, also became artists, the latter being among the most important portrait painters in northern Europe during the Reformation.




Hans Holbein the Elder
 

(b Augsburg, ?1460–65; d 1534). Painter and draughtsman.

The date of his birth has been estimated from his earliest signed painting, the Death of the Virgin (Budapest, Mus. F.A.), which is dated 148(?). His earliest surviving dated altarpiece is the St Afra Altarpiece, produced for the church of SS Ulrich and Afra, Augsburg (1490; Eichstätt, Bischof. Pal.; Basle, Kstmus.). In 1493 he was recorded, buying a house in Augsburg, as ‘Hans Holbein the painter, citizen of Ulm’; he was then working in Ulm with the sculptor Michel Erhart on the Weingartner Altarpiece, depicting scenes from the Life of the Virgin, for the chapel of the Virgin in the Benedictine monastery at Weingarten (1493; panels, Augsburg Cathedral; carvings untraced); here the style of the paintings reveals the influence of the Netherlandish style of Rogier van der Weyden. By this date, however, Holbein had already developed stylistic traits of his own: the ability to depict individual facial characteristics, the clear and symmetrical organization of his figures within the available space (here placing them within various architectural structures, which serve both to delineate the subsidiary scenes and to unify the separate panels of the altarpiece) and the use of warm, glowing colour.

 


Portrat der Katharina Schwarz mit den Attributen ihrer Nahmensheiligen
ca.1509-1510

 

 

 
 


Weingartener Altar: Tempelgang Mariae

 
 
 

Hl. Elisabeth
ca.1500-1510
 
 
 

Maria mit Kind
1515-1516
 
 
 

Portrait of a Woman
1516-1517
 
 
 

Maria wird von Engeln gekront
ca.1502
 
 
 

Ambrosius and Hans Holbein

1511
Kupferstichkabinett, Staatliche Museen, Berlin
 
 
 

Portrait of a Woman
c. 1508
 
 
 

Study of a Bearded Man
c. 1508
 
 
 

Head of a Woman in a Whimple Head-Dress
1500

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