Hans (the Younger) Holbein
Circle of

Portrait of a Nobleman

c. 1540
This nobleman strikes a fashionable and assertive pose, considered appropriate for men of action: arms akimbo, one hand grasping the hilt of his sword. The unknown artist, active in southern Germany or Switzerland, looked to the work of Holbein for a model, adopting his concentrated attention and subtlety of description. The composition is simple, but sophisticated: the relationship of figure to frame was calculated to focus attention and create a sense of shallow depth. The subject does not return our gaze; the slight torque in his body creates a sense of stilled energy – a momentary rest. Frame: ebonized veneer with bone and horn inlay over wooden substructure. Germany, first half 17th century
Artist
Circle of
Title
Portrait of a Nobleman
Date
c. 1540
Medium
Painting
Materials
oil on paper mounted on wood, transferred to canvas
Dimensions
62.7 x 48.3 cm
Nationality
German
Credit line
Purchased 1928
Accession number
3564