Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142112 Published September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
An e-book edition will be published.

Hans Holbein

The Artist in a Changing World

Jeanne Nuechterlein

Hans Holbein

Jeanne Nuechterlein

Distributed for Reaktion Books

288 pages | 65 color plates, 5 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Cloth $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142112 Published September 2020 For sale in North and South America only
E-book $22.50 ISBN: 9781789142495 Published October 2020 For sale in North and South America only
Immensely skillful and inventive, Hans Holbein molded his approach to art-making during a period of dramatic transformation in European society and culture: the emergence of humanism, the impact of the Reformation on religious life, and the effects of new scientific discoveries. Most people have encountered Holbein’s work—think of King Henry VIII and Holbein’s memorable portrait springs to mind, forever defining the Tudor king for posterity—but little is widely known about the artist himself. This overview of Holbein looks at his art through the changes in the world around him. Offering insightful and often surprising new interpretations of visual and historical sources that have rarely been addressed, Jeanne Nuechterlein reconstructs what we know of the life of this elusive figure, illuminating the complexity of his world and the images he generated.

1 Techniques, Materials, Skills
2 Education, Knowledge, Styles
3 Religion, Reformation, Politics
4 Science, Observation, Manipulation
5 Patrons, Status, Court

Conclusion: The Individual and the Type

Selected Reading
Photo Acknowledgements
Review Quotes
History Today
"Hans Holbein: The Artist in a Changing World is not a biography. Instead, Nuechterlein offers a compelling thematic account of Holbein’s creative life that emphasizes the steadiness of his artistic gaze as he navigated three decades of extraordinary political, religious, and intellectual turbulence."
The Key Reporter
"This is a very fine book about a puzzling artist. Page by page, sentence by sentence, Nuechterlein brings the reader in and up close to the art. The author’s care and clarity in addressing the making of art is a match for Holbein’s art and skill. One learns a lot. It is a rare pleasure to find oneself right there as the artist makes an image."
Susan Foister, deputy director and curator, National Gallery, London
“Nuechterlein presents the first modern overview of Holbein’s entire achievement and examines his responses to major changes in contemporary belief systems—Renaissance humanism, the Protestant Reformation, and new scientific and geographical discoveries—all explained with admirable clarity. Analyzing Holbein’s work across Germany, Switzerland, and England, from tiny woodcuts and metalcuts to full-size altarpieces, she brilliantly brings into focus not only Holbein’s extraordinary creative responses to change but also the people for whom and with whom he worked, illuminating Northern European art and society at a crucial turning point.”
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