Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: 10.18688/aa177-5-58
Title On the Question of Functioning and Existence of Portrait Drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger
Author email
About author Istomina, Nadezhda Alekseevna — Ph. D., associate professor. Russian State University for the Humanities, GSP-3, Miusskaia pl., 6, 125993 Moscow, Russian Federation.
In the section Art of the Renaissance DOI 10.18688/aa177-5-58
Year 2017 Volume 7 Pages 573580
Type of article RAR Index UDK 7.034(430) Index BBK 85.154

The main function of Holbein’s drawing is supporting, purely practical one. However, there are several facts proving that it is not their only function. The 16th century is a period of the heyday of humanism taking an active interest in history as well as interpreting the biography of personalities and the memory of humanactivities. Holbein’s use of tinted paper giving the effect of warm carnation, the correction of used drawings and the fact that Holbein didn’t make preparatory study for the portraits of the representatives of the merchant class allow us to conclude that he considered a drawing as a complete work included into the “gallery” of the humanists that he depicted. This gallery represents the master’s relationships, the breadth of his creativity, and the artist’s excellence. A well-known story claimimg that the painting of Thomas More’s family bearing its members’ names and ages was brought by Holbein to Erasmus Roterodamus shows that the drawing assumes not only a historical but also a documentary function. The fact that Hans Holbein the Younger’s works were collected by his friend — a Basel humanist Bonifacius Amerbaсh, and later by his son Basilius who founded “Amerbach-Kabinett“ in Basel in 1578, confirms the aesthetic function of portrait drawings which were transformed from preparatory materials into the objects having an artistic value.

Reference Istomina, Nadezhda A. On the Question of Functioning and Existence of Portrait Drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger. Actual Problems of Theory and History of Art: Collection of articles. Vol. 7. Ed. S. V. Mal’tseva, E. Iu. Staniukovich-Denisova, A. V. Zakharova. — St. Petersburg: St. Petersburg Univ. Press, 2017, pp. 573–580. ISSN 2312-2129. 10.18688/aa177-5-58
Publication Article language russian
  • Auerbach E. Tudor Artists; A Study of Painters in the Royal Service and of Portraiture on Illuminated Documents from the Accession of Henry VIII to the Death of Elizabeth I. London, University of London, Athlone Press Publ., 1954. 52 p.
  • Achilles-Syndram K. “…und sonderlich von grossen stucken nichts bey mihr vorhanden ist”. Die Sammlung Praun als kunst- und kulturgeschichtliches Dockument. Kunst des Sammelns: Das Praunische Kabinett. Meisterwerke von Dürer bis Caracci. K. Achilles-Syndram; R. Schoch (eds.). Nürnberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum Publ., 1994, pp. 35–55 (in German).
  • Ainsworth M. “Paternes for Phiosioneamyes”: Holbein’s Portraiture Reconsidered. The Burlington Magazine, 1990, vol. 132, no. 1044, pp. 173–186.
  • Ainsworth M. W.; Waterman J. P. (eds.). German Paintings in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1350–1600. New Haven, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Publ., 2013. 84 p.
  • Batschmann O.; Griener P. Hans Holbein. London, Reaktion Books Publ., 1997. 256 p.
  • Buck S. Holbein am Hofe Heinrichs VIII. Berlin, Reimer Publ., 1997. 374 p. (in German).
  • Buck S.; Sander J. (eds.). Hans Holbein the Younger 1497/98–1543. Portraitist of the Renaissance. Zwolle, Waanders, Uitgeverij Publ., 2003. 184 p.
  • Foister S. Holbein in England. London, Tate Publ., 2006. 192 p.
  • Foister S. Paintings and Other Works of Art in Sixteenth-Century English Inventories. The Burlington Magazine, 1981, vol. 123, no. 938, pp. 273–282.
  • Gaunt W. English Painting: A Concise History. London, Thames & Hudson Publ., 1985. 288 p.
  • Grohn H. W. Hans Holbein der Jüngere. Bildniszeichnungen. Dresden, Verlag der Kunst Publ., 1956. 31 p. (in German).
  • Löcher K. Humanistenbildnisse — Reformatorenbildnisse. Unterschiede und Gemeinsamkeiten. Literatur, Müsik und Kunst im Übergang vom Mittelalter zur Neuzeit. Bericht über Kolloquien der Kommission zur Erforschung der Kultur des Spätmittelalters 1989 bis 1992. H. Boockmann; B. Moeller; L. Grenzmann; M. Staehelin (eds.). Göttingen, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen Publ., 1995, pp. 352–390 (in German).
  • Müller C.; Kemperdick S. (eds.). Hans Holbein d. J.: Die Jahre in Basel 1515–1532. Aussttellung-Kataloge Kunstmuseum Basel. München, Prestel Verlag Publ., 2006. 380 p. (in German).
  • Müller C. (ed.). Hans Holbein d. J.: Zeichnungen aus dem Kupferstichkabinett der Öffentlichen Kunstsammlung Basel. Basle, Kunstmuseum Basel Publ., 1988. 272 p. (in German).
  • Müller M. F. Bildnis Kaiser Maximilian I. Albrecht Dürer. K. A. Schhröder; M. L. Sternath (eds.). Wien, Hatje Cantz Publ., 2003, pp. 470–475 (in German).
  • Pahomova V. A. Grafika Gansa Golbeina Mladshego (Graphics of Hans Holbein the Younger). Leningrad, Iskusstvo Publ., 1989. 230 p. (in Russian).
  • Parker K. T. The Drawings of Hans Holbein at Windsor Castle. London; Oxford, Phaidon Press Publ., 1945. 61 p.
  • Roberts J. (ed.). Drawings by Holbein from the Court of Henry VIII: Fifty Drawings from the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen, Windsor Castle. Catalogue. Orlando, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Johnson Reprint Publ., 1988. 147 p.
  • Rowlands J. K.; Bartrum G. Drawings by German Artists: The Fifteenth Century and the Sixteenth Century by Artists Born before 1530. Catalogue. London, British Museum Press Publ., 1993. 306 p.
  • Rowlands J. Sammeln in der Renaissance: Das Amerbach-Kabinett: Beiträge zu Basilius Amerbach. Apollo, 1991, no. 134, pp. 58–60 (in German).
  • Smith D. R. Portrait and Counter-Portrait in Holbein’s ‘The Family of Sir Thomas More’. The Art Bulletin, 2005, vol. 87, no. 3, pp. 484–506.