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Holbein: Capturing Character

Edited by Anne T. Woollett, with contributions by Austėja Mackelaitė, John T. McQuillen, and others

Stunning portraits by the renowned Renaissance artist illuminate fascinating figures from the European merchant class, intellectual elite, and court of King Henry VIII.

Nobles, ladies, scholars, and merchants were the subjects of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543), an inventive German artist best known for his dazzling portraits. Holbein developed his signature style in Basel and London amid a rich culture of erudition, self-definition, and love of luxury and wit before becoming court painter to Henry VIII. Accompanying the first major Holbein exhibition in the United States, this catalogue explores his vibrant visual and intellectual approach to personal identity. In addition to reproducing many of the artist’s painted and drawn portraits, this volume delves into his relationship with leading intellectuals, such as Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More, as well as his contributions to publishing and book culture, meticulous inscriptions, and ingenious designs for jewels, hat badges, and other exquisite objects. 

Anne T. Woollett is curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Austėja Mackelaitė is the Annette and Oscar de la Renta Assistant Curator of Drawings and Prints at the Morgan Library & Museum. John T. McQuillen is the associate curator of printed books and bindings at the Morgan Library & Museum.

This volume is published to accompany an exhibition on view at the Getty Center Museum October 19, 2021, to January 9, 2022 and at the Morgan Library & Museum February 11 to May 15, 2022.

“Excellent.”
—Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times


192 pages
9 x 12 inches
175 color and 8b/w illustrations
ISBN 978-1-60606-747-5
hardcover

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum 

2021