Hans Holbein (The Elder)

Hans Holbein (The Elder)
    Hans Holbein
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Hans Holbein
    (The Elder Holbein)
    A German painter; b. at Augsburg about 1460; d. at Isenheim, Alsace, in 1524. Except that he was born in the Bavarian centre of art, culture, and commerce, and that his father, Michael, was a well-to-do leather-worker, little is known of his early life. He may well have studied in the studio of the great Schongauer, and some authorities state that he married the daughter of the engraver and painter Brickmaer (von Stetton). He is registered among the citizens of Ulm in 1499; he was established in Frankfort in 1501 and subsequently lived and painted at Basle and Alsace. These wanderings may have been occasioned by financial embarrassments, for he was poor and in debt all his life. Holbein's early work shows that he followed van der Weyden and Memling. Then the van Eycks and the Cologne school influenced him for more than a decade. In this, his "dry' period of painting, his subjects were chiefly from the Passion, and, although they exhibit crude grouping and colour, and a naïve technique, they nevertheless evince a profound sentiment of sincerity and devotion. He was one of the finest painters, if not the first, in Germany to avoid angles, lines, and sharp folds in his elaborate draperies. Augburg was on the high road between Germany and Italy, and Holbein, drinking deeply of Italian culture substituted the softer Southern elements for the precise and archaic German methods. He was one of the first to paint a Renaissance type of background, and to use architectural decoration in his pictures; and in this he became a master. This emancipation of painting (1512-22), begun by the elder Holbein, was to be completed by his son, Hans. Thus the elder Holbein was a pioneer and leader in the transformation of German art. The majority of the great critics incline to this opinion, while others aver that his poverty and debts were due to his long and notorious resistance to Italian influence. He was a spirited and robust, if sometimes vulgar, painter, a man of imagination and power, possessing a splendid capacity for depicting character. His merits have long been overshadowed by the fame of his son.
    The earliest important work of the elder Holbein is a "Madonna and Child" (1492) now in the Moritz Kapelle, Nuremberg. In 1493 he became well known by his altar-piece in Weingarten Abbey; but the most famous of his works is the altar of the basilica of St. Paul (now in the Augsburg gallery), for it contains a portrait of himself and his two sons, Ambrose and Hans; and the father is pointing with pride to the young Hans as if predicting the lad's future greatness. At Frankfort, in 1501, Holbein painted a large and important altar-piece for the Dominicans and for some time after seems to have won pecuniary success. Forged documents and false inscriptions for a long time ascribed works to the son which modern authorities ascribe to the father. To-day the elder Holbein enters into his own. The beautiful "Conception", painted in 1512 (Augsburg gallery) and the altar-piece of St. Sebastian (Munich), a triptych with the "Annunciation" and Sts. Elizabeth and Barbara occupying its wings, are two notable pictures recently proved to be by the elder, and not the younger, Holbein. The St. Sebastian altar-piece is generally regarded as his greatest work. His "Madonna Enthroned" is preserved in the Germanic Museum, at Nuremberg, while two portraits by him (probably a man and wife) are in the Hampton Court collection. The sketch books of this prolific artist, preserved at Berlin and Copenhagen, are filled with portraits, chiefly in silver-point, the noteworthy faces therein being the Emperor Maximilian, his fool, Kuntz von der Rosen, the Fuggers, and other men conspicuous in commerce and at Court. He and his brother Sigmund painted together — how long, and on what pictures, cannot be discovered; but Hans always signed the work. He gave young Hans his first lessons, and endowed him with virile force and immense capacity for characterization. About 1520 Holbein was in Alsace and sought refuge with the monks of Isenheim. After his death it is recorded that his son claimed his brushes, paints, and sketch books from the monastery.
    WORNUM, Life and Works of Hans Holbein (London, 1867); CHAMBERLAIN, Hans Holbein (London, 1902); WOLTMAN, Holbein und seine Zeit (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1876); WITT, German and Flemish Masters in the National Gallery (London, 1904).
    LEIGH HUNT
    Transcribed by Rebecca J. M. Morris

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


Catholic encyclopedia.

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  • Hans Holbein the Elder — Hans Holbein (c. 1460 ndash; 1524) was a German painter. [cite web|url=http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07385a.htm|title=Hans Holbein|work=Catholic Encyclopedia |accessdate=2007 02 18] He was born in Augsburg, Bavaria and died in las angeles,… …   Wikipedia

  • Hans Holbein the Younger — (c. 1497 ndash; between 7 October and 29 November 1543) was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known for his numerous portraits and his woodcut series of the Dance of Death , and is widely… …   Wikipedia

  • Holbein the Elder — noun German painter of religious works (1465 1524) • Syn: ↑Holbein, ↑Hans Holbein • Instance Hypernyms: ↑old master …   Useful english dictionary

  • Holbein, Hans, The Elder — ▪ German painter born c. 1465, Imperial Free City of Augsburg [Germany] died 1524, Isenheim, Alsace [now in France]       German painter associated with the Augsburg school. He was the senior member of a family of painters that included his… …   Universalium

  • Holbein, Hans, the Elder —  (c. 1460–1524) German painter and father of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497–1543), court painter to Henry VIII of England …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Hans Holbein — is the name of two German Renaissance painters:* Hans Holbein the Elder (1460 1524) father of Hans the Younger. * Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497 1543), the better known of the two, court artist to King Henry VIII of England …   Wikipedia

  • Holbein the Younger, Hans — (1497/1498 1543)    German painter from Augsburg, trained by his father Hans Holbein the Elder, who was also a painter. In c. 1514, Holbein the Younger went to Basel where he entered the workshop of Hans Herbster. There he gained a reputation as… …   Dictionary of Renaissance art

  • Hans Holbein — noun 1. German painter and engraver noted for his portraits; he was commissioned by Henry VIII to provide portraits of the English king s prospective brides (1497 1543) • Syn: ↑Holbein, ↑Holbein the Younger • Instance Hypernyms: ↑old master,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Lucas Cranach the Elder — Portrait of Lucas Cranach the Elder at age 77 by Lucas Cranach the Younger (1550), at the Uffizi Gallery, Florence Birth name Lucas Maler …   Wikipedia

  • Cranach, Lucas, the Elder — orig. Lucas Müller born 1472, Cranach, bishopric of Bamberg died Oct. 16, 1553, Weimar, Saxe Weimar German painter and printmaker. He took his name from the town of his birth. Little is known about his early life or training. In Vienna (с… …   Universalium

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