Hans Holbein the Younger

  • 1497/1498 - 1543
  • Artist
  • German

Hans Holbein was a painter, draftsman, and designer who came from a family of artists. He trained in his father's studio in Augsburg before moving to Basel, Switzerland. In Basel, Holbein worked on house decorations, portraits, and woodcuts. He soon became a teacher in the painters' guild in Basel and was very active painting altarpieces and designing stained-glass windows.At the age of twenty-nine Holbein, went to England for two years. There he met the scholar and statesman Sir Thomas More. Holbein painted portraits of him and his family and quickly established an international reputation. Contemporaries marveled at his ability to capture the exact likeness of sitters and their elegant garments. After four years back in Basel to finish work begun earlier in his career, Holbein returned to England. Shortly thereafter, he became exclusive court portrait painter and fashion designer to King Henry VIII of England, a position he held until his death. At courts throughout Europe, Holbein painted portraits of potential brides for the king. As the royal fashion designer, he made designs for all the king's state robes, buttons, buckles, and pageant weapons.