Born – 1497
Died – November 1543
Father – Hans Holbein the Elder (1460 – 1524)
Mother – Anna Mair Holbein
Spouse – m. 1520 – Elsbeth Binsenstock-Schmid
Children – Philipp (b. 1522), Katherina (b. 1526), Jakob (b. 1529), Kungold (b. 1530)
Hans Holbein the Younger was born the son of Hans Holbein the Elder and his wife Anna Mair at Augsburg, Austria. His father was an artist who painted religious scenes. He was the couple’s second son, his elder brother Ambrosius had been born around 1494.
Hans and his elder brother were educated by their father. Their education included lessons in painting, jewellery making and working with gold.
Hans and his brother Ambrosius were living and working in Basel, Switzerland.
In Basel, Holbein was introduced to the Humanist Desiderius Erasmus author of ‘In Praise of Folly’ an attack on superstitions particularly those within the Catholic Church. Holbein added pen and ink illustrations in the margin of his copy of the book.
Holbein painted the portraits of Jakob Meyer, mayor of Lucerne, and his wife Dorothea.
Hans and Ambrosius illustrated the sign for the schoolmaster Oswald Myconius.
Hans Holbein was in Lucerne, Switzerland with his father working on a series of murals for the mayor, Jakob von Hertenstein.
Hans Holbein painted a picture entitled Adam and Eve and a portrait of Benedikt von Hertenstein, son of the mayor of Lucerne.
Holbein returned to Basel. His brother disappears from records about this time and it is believed that he died.
Holbein painted a portrait of Bonifacius Amerbach, an academic and friend of Desiderius Erasmus.
1519 (25th September)
Holbein became a member of the Painter’s Guild of Basel.
Holbein became a citizen of Basel.
Hans Holbein married Elsbeth Schmid, a widow who had an infant son named Franz.
Holbein painted the ‘Oberried Altarpiece’ for the Oberried family. The work consists of two panels: ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ and ‘The Birth of Christ’.
Holbein painted ‘The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb’.
A son Philipp was born to Hans Holbein and Elsbeth Binsenstock-Schmid.
Holbein painted ‘The Solothurn Madonna’ for the town secretary of Basel, Johannes Gerster.
Hans painted a portrait of the book printer Johannes Froben.
Hans Holbein painted the ‘Printer’s Device of Johannes Froben’.
Holbein painted a number of portraits of Desiderius Erasmus. These portraits helped Hans to become known throughout Europe.
Holbein painted ‘The Passion of Christ’ a series of four panels.
Hans visited the court of King Francis I of France.
Holbein painted ‘Venus and Cupid’.
Holbein painted ‘The Last Supper’. His painting was influenced by Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work.
Hans painted ‘Noli me Tangere’.
A daughter Katherina was born to Hans Holbein and Elsbeth Binsenstock-Schmid.
Holbein went to England to seek work. His friend Erasmus recommended him to Thomas More who secured him a number of commissions.
Holbein painted ‘Lais of Corinth’.
Holbein painted ‘The Darmstadter Madonna’ for Jakob Meyer of Basel.
Holbein painted ‘Noli me Tangere’.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Sir Thomas More.
Hans painted a portrait of William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury.
Holbein painted portraits of Sir Henry Guildford and his wife Mary, Lady Guildford.
Hans painted ‘Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling’. Thought to be a portrait of Anne Lovell.
Holbein painted ‘Double Portrait of Sir Thomas Godsalve and his son John’.
Hans painted a portrait of Nikolaus Kratzer, the astronomer who was tutor to the children of Thomas More.
Holbein returned to Basel. He had made enough money from his commissions to purchase a property in the city.
Hans painted ‘The Artist’s Family’, which depicts his wife and two children, Philipp and Katherina.
A son Jakob was born to Hans Holbein and Elsbeth Binsenstock-Schmid.
A son Kungold was born to Hans Holbein and Elsbeth Binsenstock-Schmid.
Holbein secured a commission to paint a series of frescoes for the Basel Council Chamber.
Holbein painted a miniature Portrait of Erasmus.
Holbein returned to England and found accommodation in London. He left his family in Basel. Thomas More had fallen from favour for opposing King Henry VIII‘s move to divorce Catherine of Aragon and Holbein wisely kept his distance from his former patron. Instead he courted the favour of the Boleyn family.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of the German merchant, Hermann von Wedigh.
Holbein painted a portrait of the German merchant, Georg Gisze.
Hans Holbein painted ‘A merchant of the German Steelyard’. The sitter is possibly Hans of Antwerp, a goldsmith friend of Holbein.
Holbein painted ‘Portrait of a Woman in a Whit Coif’.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of English statesman Thomas Cromwell.
Holbein painted ‘An Allegory of the Old and New Testaments’.
Holbein painted a portrait of William Reskimer, a page at the court of Henry VIII.
Hans Holbein painted portraits of the German merchants Derich Born, Cyriacus Kale and Dirck Tybis.
Holbein painted a portrait of Robert Cheseman, chief falconer to King Henry VIII.
Hans Holbein painted ‘The Ambassadors’ also titled ‘Jean de Dinteville and Georges de Selve’. Both men were French ambassadors to England. Jean de Dinteville was a French landowner while Georges de Selve was Bishop of Lavaur.
German merchants in London commissioned Holbein to produce a street tableau of Mount Parnassus for Anne Boleyn’s coronation. Hans also designed decorative arches used along the route.
1533 (late Summer)
Holbein designed the cradle used for Princess Elizabeth after her birth on 7th September.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Sir Brian Tuke, Henry VIII’s Treasurer of the Chamber.
1534 (1st January)
Anne Boleyn gave Henry VIII a New Year’s gift of a table fountain that had been designed by Holbein.
Holbein painted a portrait of Charles de Solier, Lord of Morette, a French soldier and diplomat who was also ambassador to England.
Holbein painted ‘Portrait of a Man with a Lute’. The sitter is thought to be of a musician at the Tudor court, possibly Mark Smeaton.
Holbein painted ‘Solomon and the Queen of Sheba’.
1535 (6th July)
Holbein’s former patron, Thomas More, was executed for treason.
Holbein painted a portrait of Simon George of Cornwall.
King Henry VIII appointed Holbein as Court Painter. He was given a salary of £30 (£14,000 today).
Holbein painted a portrait of the German merchant Derich Berck.
Hans Holbein painted miniature portraits of Sir William Roper and his wife Margaret. Margaret Roper was the daughter of Thomas More.
Hans painted a portrait of Sir Richard Southwell, a privy councillor.
Holbein painted a portrait of Sir Thomas Lestrange, a landowner who was charged with collecting taxes from monasteries and the church for the King.
Holbein painted a portrait of Sir Henry Wyatt, a Privy Councillor, father of the court poet Thomas Wyatt.
Hans Holbein painted portraits of King Henry VIII and his wife, Jane Seymour.
Hans Holbein painted a mural depicting Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, Henry VII and Elizabeth of York.
Hans Holbein painted ‘Portrait of a Young Man’ possibly Gregory Cromwell, son of Thomas.
Holbein returned to Basel where he visited his family.
Holbein travelled to Brussels where he made a number of sketches of Christina of Denmark. On his return to England he worked the sketches into a full length painting. Henry was considering Christina as a possible fourth wife. However, Christina had no wish to marry Henry stating ‘If I had two heads, one should be at the King of England’s disposal.’
Hans Holbein painted a miniature portrait of Elizabeth, Lady Audley, second wife of Thomas, Lord Audley.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Thomas Howard, Duke of Norfolk.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Prince Edward.
Hans Holbein was sent to Cleves to paint the portrait of Anne of Cleves. Henry VIII was considering her as his fourth wife.
1540 (1st January)
Based on the strength of Holbein’s portrait, Henry VIII agreed to marry Anne of Cleves. However when he saw her he was not impressed and demanded that Cromwell find him a way out of the marriage. Cromwell was unable to do so and the marriage went ahead. However, Cromwell fell from favour.
Despite the fact that Henry VIII felt that the portrait bore little resemblance to Anne of Cleves, Hans Holbein was not blamed and retained his position as court painter.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Kathryn Howard.
1540 (28th July)
Holbein’s friend and patron, Thomas Cromwell, was executed for treason.
Hans Holbein painted miniature portraits of Henry and Charles Brandon, children of Charles Brandon, duke of Suffolk and his fourth wife Katherine Willoughby. A miniature of Katherine Willoughby was also painted.
Hans Holbein painted a portrait of Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey.
Hans Holbein painted a self-portrait
Holbein painted portraits of Dr John Chambers and Sir William Butts, King Henry VIII’s personal physicians.
Hans Holbein completed ‘Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons’, a painting commissioned by the Company of Barbers and the Guild of Surgeons to commemorate their merger.
Hans Holbein died in London of an infection.
Published Apr 10, 2020 @ 2:10 pm – Updated –
Harvard Reference for this page:
Heather Y Wheeler. (2020). Hans Holbein the Younger . https://www.thetimelinegeek.com/hans-holbein-the-younger-1497-1543. Last accessed [date]