Thomas Godsalve and his son John, Follower of Hans HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER


Thomas Godsalve and his son John


Oil on panel, 35x36cm

Inscribed upper left: .Anno.Dmi.M .D. XXVIII and further inscribed lower right: Thomas Godsalve de Norwico Etatis sue Anno / quadragesimo septo


Hans Holbein the Younger (Augsburg c.1497 – 1543) was a German and Swiss artist and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style. He is best known as one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire and Reformation propaganda, and made a significant contribution to the history of book design. His Late Gothic style was enriched by artistic trends in Italy, France and the Netherlands, as well as by Renaissance humanism. The result was a combined aesthetic uniquely his own. Holbein was never content, however, with outward appearance. He embedded layers of symbolism, allusion, and paradox in his art, to the lasting fascination of scholars. In the view of art historian Ellis Waterhouse, his portraiture “remains unsurpassed for sureness and economy of statement, penetration into character, and a combined richness and purity of style”. 

Today Hans Holbein’s works are preserved in the most important museums worldwide, including the Victoria and Albert Museum and The National Gallery, London; the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna; the Kunstmuseum in Basel; the Palazzo Barberini, Rome; the Louvre Museum, Paris; the J. Paul Getty Museum; the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery, The Hague.

Holbein’s followers and imitators produced copies and versions of his work, but he does not seem to have founded a school. This picture is after a work in the Gemäldegalerie, Dresden dated 1528 which depicts Thomas Godsalve, a prosperous Norfolk landowner and registrar of the consistory court at Norwich, with his son John, who through his father’s friendship with Thomas Cromwell, secured the posts of Clerk of the Signet and Clerk of the Mint.


Private collection, USA
Collection of Art-Life Projekt, Tallinn
Private collection, Switzerland

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