The first illustrated biography of Hans Holbein, the painter who depicted some of the most powerful people of the early sixteenth century, in three decades.
Hans Holbein the Younger is chiefly celebrated for his beautiful and precisely realised portraiture, which includes representations of Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, Anne of Cleves, and an array of the Tudor lords and ladies he encountered during the course of two sojourns in England. But beyond these familiar images, which have come to define our perception of the world of the Henrician court, Holbein was a protean and multi-faceted genius: a humanist, satirist, political propagandist, and contributor to the history of book design as well as a religious artist and court painter. The rich layers of symbolism and allusion that characterise his work have proved especially fascinating to scholars.
Franny Moyle traces and analyses the life and work of an extraordinary artist against the backdrop of an era of political turbulence and cultural transformation, to which his art offers a subtle and endlessly refracting mirror.
'Moyle's account [...] is delightful, sad, and entirely convincing; her last chapters reduced this hardened reader to tears' Guardian, on Constance
'Well-crafted, delicious ... Moyles grips us immediately' New York Times, on The Extraordinary Life and Times of J.M.W. Turner.
'Moyle is especially good at delineating Turner's artistic methods, and her enthralling account is filled with an impressive understanding of his unique talent' The Times, on The Extraordinary Life and Times of J.M.W. Turner.