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“Portrait of Henry VIII of England” by Hans Holbein the Younger

Hans Holbein, the Younger, Around 1497-1543 - Portrait of Henry VIII of England - Google Art Project

“Portrait of Henry VIII of England” by Hans Holbein the Younger

Holbein was a German and Swiss artist who travelled to England in 1526 and was welcomed into the humanist circle of Thomas More, where he quickly built a high reputation. Later he also worked under the patronage of Anne Boleyn and Thomas Cromwell. By 1535, he was King’s Painter to King Henry VIII. His portraits of the royal family and nobles are a historical visual record of the court during the years when Henry was asserting his supremacy over the English church.

Holbein had deftly survived the downfall of his first two high patrons, Thomas More and Anne Boleyn, but Cromwell’s execution damaged his career. Although he managed to retain his position as King’s painter, his career never recovered. The site of Holbein’s grave is unknown and may never have been marked.

Essential Facts:

  • Title:                Portrait of Henry VIII of England
  • Artist:              Hans Holbein the Younger
  • Created:          1537
  • Medium:         oil on panel
  • Dimensions:   Height: 28 cm (11 in). Width: 20 cm (7.9 in).
  • Museum:        Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum


  • Name:            Hans Holbein the Younger
  • German:        Hans Holbein der Jüngere
  • Born:              c. 1497 – Augsburg, Free imperial city, Holy Roman Empire
  • Died:              1543 (aged 45) – London, England
  • Nationality:  German Swiss
  • Movement:   Northern Renaissance
  • Notable work:


“Art is never finished, only abandoned.” Leonardo da Vinci



Photo Credit 1) Hans Holbein [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons 2)By Thomas Shahan (Hans Holbein’s “The Ambassadors”) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons