Holbein, Hans the Younger (1497-1543) - 1542-43 Self Portrait (Uffizi, Florence)
Hans Holbein the Younger was a German artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire, and Reformation propaganda. He is called "the Younger" to distinguish him from his father, Hans Holbein the Elder, an accomplished painter of the Late Gothic school.
Holbein travelled to England in 1526 with a recommendation from Erasmus. He was welcomed into the humanist circle of Thomas More, where he quickly built his reputation. After returning to Basel for four years, he resumed his career in England in 1532. By 1535, he was King's Painter to King Henry VIII.
Holbein's art was prized from early in his career. By the 19th century, Holbein was recognized among the great portrait masters. Holbein's art has sometimes been called realist, since he drew and painted with a rare precision. His portraits were renowned in their time for their likeness; and it is through Holbein's eyes that many famous figures of his day, such as Erasmus and More, are now "seen".