The exhibition will go on display from the 10th November until the 14th April.

(c) The Royal Collection

The Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace will present an exhibition that will showcase the artist’s time at court in the first half of the 16th Century. Throughout the display, the work on show will include drawings, paintings, miniatures and book illustrations by the artist.

It will include 40 preparatory portrait drawings alongside the resulting paintings. Among those in the exhibition include images of important figures during the Tudor period such as Sir Thomas More, Mary Shelton, later Lady Heveningham and Queen Anne Boleyn.

Throughout the exhibiton, it will explore Holbein’s artistic techniques, his career in England and the lives of the men and women who commissioned his portraits, from members of the Tudor royal family to writers, churchmen and senior figures at court. Holbein’s skill as an artist was instrumental in cementing friendships, marking occasions such as marriage and as a tool in dynastic negotiations.

In the final section of the exhibition, the focus will shift to how  Holbein’s work influenced later Tudor artists such as Hans Eworth. Among the works displayed in this gallery will be Holbein’s drawings of Anne Boleyn and Jane Seymour, and a large portrait of Henry VIII and his family by an unknown artist who looks back to Holbein’s example, which had defined the image and faces of the Tudor court.

As well as Holbein, the exhibition will feature works by artists such as William Scrots, who painted Elizabeth I and Edward VI; and Hans Eworth, who painted Elizabeth I and the Three Goddesses. Those visiting will also be introduced to paintings and decorative arts from the collections of Henry VII and Henry VIII, showing how the Tudor court was home to works from across Europe. Highlights include Guido Mazzoni’s terracotta bust of a young boy, once said to be Henry VIII as a child, and a portrait of Louis XII brought to England as part of the marriage negotiations between that monarch and Mary Tudor, Henry VIII’s sister.

Talking about the exhibition, curator Kate Heard said: “Holbein’s brilliant success at the Tudor court was due to his mastery of his art. His exquisite drawings and paintings were made using the techniques he had learned as an apprentice, but his impressive skill with these traditional materials saw him celebrated by contemporaries, as he is still celebrated today. It is easy to understand why the men and women of Henry VIII’s court sought a portrait from Holbein as a mark of success, a record of a loved one or a gift between friends.”

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