Holbein, Hans The Younger; (school of)

Ulrich von Hutten

c. 1520

Place Made
Watercolor on parchment
diameter: 1 1/2 in.
Credit Line
The Latter-Schlesinger Collection, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter
Lupin Foundation Center for the Decorative Arts
Accession #

This miniature portrait is the earliest in NOMA’s collection. Handheld painting evolved as highly-skilled Medieval artists illustrating religious texts (illuminated manuscripts) liberated images from the bound page.

In the 1520s, portrait miniatures became essential communication and political tools in European court life. German artist Hans Holbein immigrated to England in 1532 to serve as the court painter for Henry VIII. Famously, Henry VIII relied on portrait miniatures to assess the royal women he considered for wives.

This German miniature from an artist working similarly to Hans Holbein depicts Ulrich von Hutten (German, 1488–1523), a scholar/poet known as a Protestant follower of Martin Luther.