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Distributed for Reaktion Books

Hans Holbein

Revised and Expanded Second Edition

Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

Distributed for Reaktion Books

Hans Holbein

Revised and Expanded Second Edition

Second Edition, Revised and Expanded

 Hans Holbein the Younger was the leading artist of the Northern Renaissance, yet his life and work are not nearly as well-documented as those of his contemporaries Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo. That omission has been remedied with this acclaimed study by Oskar Bätschmann and Pascal Griener. Hans Holbein chronicles the life and oeuvre of Holbein (1497/8–1543), as Bätschmann and Griener apply their considerable knowledge to explore the full range of cultural and social influences that affected him and his work. The artist’s friendships with leading thinkers such as Erasmus and Thomas More, the development of his painting style, and the cultural influences on his work are all discussed here in this unparalleled and in-depth biography that will be essential to the bookshelf of every art lover. This second edition includes an expanded introduction and additional images.

352 pages | 85 color plates, 203 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2 | © 2014

Art: Art Criticism

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“This readable scholarly book not only situates Holbein carefully in his own time but teaches us how to read his paintings and prints in depth.”

Kenneth Baker | San Francisco Chronicle

“The authors reveal a real sympathy for and an understanding of the mixed character of Holbein’s work. . . . Fresh and rewarding.”

Times Literary Supplement

“A product of the most exhaustive Germanic scholarship, this publication sets the bar anew for the study of Holbein. . . . Encased within the hard shell of this essay are excellent formal and iconographical analyses and insights available nowhere else. . . . This will remain the definitive work for some time. . . . Essential.”

R. L. McGrath | Choice

Table of Contents



Introduction to the Revised Second Edition: Holbein the Younger’s Patrons and Networks

Artistic Competition and Self-definition

Figure and Movement, Invention and Narration

Monumental Decorative Works

Religious Works: The Making of Erasmian Art

Italian and Northern Art

The Portrait, Time and Death

Holbein’s Fame



Select Bibliography


Photographic Acknowledgements


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