Portrait of a Scholar or Cleric

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of a Scholar or Cleric

Artist/Maker(s):

Hans Holbein the Younger (German, 1497/1498 - 1543)

Culture:

Swiss

Date:

1532 - 1535

Medium:

Black and red chalk, pen and brush and black ink, on pink prepared paper

Dimensions:

21.9 x 18.4 cm (8 5/8 x 7 1/4 in.)

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Hans Holbein the Younger first sketched the sitter, whose identity is unknown, with black chalk. Subsequently, he used a brush and ink to describe the hair and collar. He used a pointed quill pen and ink to make the contour lines of the face and details such as the small dots that suggest the stubble of an incipient beard. In this second stage, Holbein made several changes in the outline of the hat and the cloak just behind the sitter's head. He used a soft red chalk over the pink ground of the paper to model the face subtly.

Holbein became painter to the court of King Henry VIII of England in 1536. After the artist's death in 1543, numerous drawings of members of the court were found in his studio. This group of drawings, which may have included this portrait, was gathered into the so-called "great booke" and given to Henry VIII.

Provenance

William Cavendish, second duke of Devonshire, English, 1673 - 1729

July 3, 1984

Christie's (London), Lot 70

Exhibitions
Old Master Drawings from Chatsworth (January 25 to March 23, 1975)
  • National Museum of Western Art (Tokyo), January 25 to March 23, 1975, (Cat. also reproduced on the cover 91)
Old Master Drawings: A Loan Exhibition from the Duke of Devonshire (April to July 1977)
  • The Israel Museum (Jerusalem), April to July, 1977, (Cat. 45)
16th Century Northern European Drawings (February 18 to May 2, 1992)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), February 18 to May 2, 1992, (Cat.)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (May 24 to August 8, 1993)
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art, (New York), May 24 to August 8, 1993, (Cat. 61)
Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994)
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), October 29, 1993 to January 23, 1994, (Cat. 67)
The Earl and Countess of Arundel: Renaissance Collectors (May 2, 1995 to October 1, 1995)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), May 2 to October 1, 1995, (Cat.)
Master Drawings from the J. Paul Getty Museum (December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), December 16, 1997 to February 22, 1998, (Cat.)
German and Swiss Drawings from the Permanent Collection (June 6 to August 20, 2000)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 6 to August 20, 2000, (Cat.)
Posing for Posterity: Portrait Drawings from the Collection (October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), October 30, 2001 to January 20, 2002, (Cat.)
Holbein in England (September 28, 2006 to January 7, 2007)
  • Tate Britain, (London), September 28, 2006 to January 7, 2007, (Cat. 57)
Renaissance Drawings from Germany and Switzerland, 1470-1600 (March 27 to June 17, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), March 27 to June 17, 2012, (Cat.)