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216 × 138 × 26 mm
352 pages
288 illustrations, 85 in colour
01 Oct 2013

Hans Holbein Revised and Expanded Second Edition Oskar Bätschmann, Pascal Griener

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8–1543), one of the most versatile and admired painters of the Northern Renaissance, trained under his father in Augsburg and then worked for leading patrons in Switzerland before settling in England as Court Painter to Henry VIII. Holbein was a hugely ambitious artist; during his formative years in Lucerne and Basle, he designed jewellery, stained glass and woodcuts, and painted major altarpieces and portraits. He also carried out several monumental decorative schemes for private houses and civic buildings.

In all his commissions, Holbein sought to rival the great masters of Germany and Italy – notably Dürer and Mantegna – as well as Antiquity, and by the time of his visit to France in 1524 he was determined to secure a position as court painter. This, and the precarious situation he found himself in as a result of the Reformation’s increasing hostility towards religious works, drove him to England for good in 1532. There, in addition to decorative schemes and triumphs, he both drew and painted numerous unrivalled likenesses of leading courtiers, merchants and diplomats, among them his celebrated double portrait ‘The Ambassadors’.

This acclaimed, richly illustrated book by Oskar Bätschmann and Pascal Griener – now available in a revised and expanded Second Edition – is a major advance in our understanding of one of the most admired painters of the Northern Renaissance. The authors re-examine every aspect of Holbein's remarkable career, in which they take full account of the artistic and cultural influences that affected the artist, such as his friendships with leading humanists Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, and cast fresh light on many hitherto vexing questions.

Oskar Bätschmann is Professor of History of Art, University of Bern, and Co-Director of the Institute for the History of Art. He is the author, with Pascal Griener, of Hans Holbein (Reaktion Books, 1999) and Giovanni Bellini (Reaktion, 2007).

Pascal Griener is a Professor at the Institute of Art History, Neuchatel, Switzerland.


Introduction to the Revised Second Edition: Holbein the Younger’s Patrons and Networks
Artistic Competition and Self-definition
Figure and Movement, Invention and Narration
Monumental Decorative Works
Religious Works: The Making of Erasmian Art
Italian and Northern Art
The Portrait, Time and Death
Holbein’s Fame

Select Bibliography
Photographic Acknowledgements