Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543), Simon George, ca. 1535–40. Mixed technique on panel. 12 3/16 in. (31 cm). (Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, 1065. Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. Photo: Städel Museum)

The art’s great in Holbein: Capturing Character, but the exhibition’s a dud.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE T he Morgan Library’s new exhibition, Holbein: Capturing Character, is a survey of the work of Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543). Holbein was Henry VIII’s court painter, the best portraitist working in Tudor England, and a crony of Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More to boot. His work is early HD. His crisp, correct likenesses, electric palette, and attention to textiles and jewelry animate the Tudors and their circle. Holbein lived and worked during the hottest days of the Protestant Reformation, painting Tudor luminaries both at the peak and not long before they lost their heads. There’s never been a Holbein


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