Hans Holbein the Younger An Allegory of the Old and New Testaments Early 1530s


Born 1497/8
Died 1543
Nationality German
Birth place Augsburg
Death place London

Holbein is best known in Britain for his splendid portraits of Henry VIII, the king's wives and prominent figures of the Tudor Court. His international acclaim as a painter and draughtsman was established through portraits he made of the Dutch scholar Erasmus. Holbein also painted religious and allegorical subjects and worked on large decorative schemes. He was born in Augsburg, then moved to Basle. Religious discord in Basle, arising from the Reformation, and the disruption of artists' businesses may have prompted Holbein's first journey to Britain in 1526. He returned for good in 1532 and was appointed court painter.

Glossary terms

Glossary terms


A period in European culture from the fourteenth to the sixteenth centuries in which the visual arts flourished with advances in the treatment of anatomy and the use of perspective. It is particularly associated with Italy, where it began, though the term applies elsewhere. It is noted for a revival of interest in the cultures of ancient Greece and Rome.