Holbein: Capturing Character
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
through January 9, 2022
The J. Paul Getty Museum has mounted the exhibition “Holbein: Capturing Character,” which features the still-astonishing portraits painted and drawn by the German artist that illuminate fascinating figures from Europe’s merchant class, intellectual elite, and — most famously — the court of King Henry VIII.
Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98-1543) developed his signature style in Basel and London amid a rich culture of erudition, luxury, and wit.
He portrayed his contemporaries with technical skill and attention to detail while offering profound insights into their unique personalities, often via revealing props such as animals, jewels, letters, and books.
Now Holbein’s oil paintings and chalk drawings are presented alongside his designs for personal emblems and metalwork, as well as jeweled hat badges and portrait medals.
The first major Holbein exhibition ever mounted in the U.S., this project features more than 50 objects from nearly 30 lenders worldwide.
It is accompanied by Getty Publications’ 192-page catalogue, edited by lead curator Anne T. Woollett.
The show will soon move to its second and final venue, New York City’s Morgan Library & Museum (February 11–May 15).
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