A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?) (detail), 1526–28. Hans Holbein the Younger. Oil on panel. The National Gallery London. Bought with contributions from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and Mr. J. Paul Getty Jnr (through the American Friends of the National Gallery, London), 1992. © The National Gallery, London.

Aspects of Anne Lovell: Holbein’s Intriguing Portrait of a Lady and a Squirrel


The Getty Center and Online

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Among the most captivating of portraits by German artist Hans Holbein the Younger is A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling. Painted between 1526–28, during his first trip to England, this enigmatic work exemplifies Holbein’s sophisticated approach to portraiture, as well as the challenges Renaissance portraits occasionally pose for modern researchers. In this talk, Holbein specialist Susan Foister presents an illustrated talk on the presumed subject, Anne Lovell, and other portraits of women in Holbein’s work. She closely examines Holbein’s painting methods and his remarkable ability to create meaning beyond simple representation. The program concludes with a conversation with Anne Woollett, curator of paintings at the Getty Museum and of the exhibition, Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance.

Susan Foister is deputy director and director of collections at the National Gallery in London. She has published widely on Holbein’s work and was curator of the exhibition Holbein in England at Tate Britain in 2006–2007. At the National Gallery, she has curated and co-curated several exhibitions of early Northern European and British painting, featuring subjects ranging from Gossaert and German stained glass to Gainsborough, Stubbs and the Pre-Raphaelites. In late November 2021 her exhibition Dürer's Journeys: Travels of a Renaissance Artist opens in London.

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