HOLBEIN, the Younger (1497-1543). _\ German painter and designer. one of the chief masters of the German Ilenaissanee. Ile was a soon of Hans llolbein the Elder, and was horn at Augsburg, where he studied with his father and with ilans Itur!..kmair. Two of the works which he probably painted in his father's workshop survive: a "Madonna" (1514), in the Museum of Basel. and "Christ Dragged to the Crucifixion," in the Gallery at Karlsruhe. Both resemble the work of his father. to whom the latter picture has also been ascribed.
About 1515 we find Dolbein at Basel. where he and his elder brother Ambrosius had probably come to make illustrations for hooks: Basel was then an important centre of the book trade. Here flans was introduced into the 'lassie world, espe cially through his assoeiation with Beatus Rhe 'minis. corrector for the printer Froben. This influence' is revealed in the table-plate in the Museum of Zurich, which he painted for the family I:aer, with scenes of hunting, fishing. and knightly tourneys, and in his eighty-three pen drawing., for Erasmus's Praise of Folly. which are in the Museum of Basel. These drawings are a curious mixture of the coarse style of the fif teenth century and the finer finish of the six teenth. They show a great master at the begin ning of hi: The Mos•mn of Ba:ol also contains other characteristic works of 1516: a sign for a sehood-master. on 'which are painted two school scenes: the portraits of Burgomaster Jakob Meyer. of his wife, and of Hans Herbst, the painter in whose workshop 11011win worked before he became a member of the painters' guild.
In 1517 lie went to Lucerne to decorate the facade and interior of the house of Jakob Ilerten stein. These paintings have perished. hut the original pen design in the of Basel shows that the facade was decorated with classical stile completely in the style of the sixteenth century. a MI ha t Ile was influenced by the study of Mantegna's prints. In 1518 he probably trav eled in Lombardy, visiting Alilan. The 1111111ellee Lombard school may be seen in llolbrin's treatment of form after 1518, and in hi: "Last Supper" (Basel Museum), which elosely re sembles Leonardo's masterpiece at Milan.
In 1519 1101bein entered the painters' guild of Basel, and in the following year he became a citi zen. During the next few years he deeorated the facades of a number of houses at Basel, chief among which was the "Ilans zmn Tanz," of which the original pen design is in the Museum, with architectural decorations. and a representation of peasants dancing. Ile also began his extensive decorations of the council chamber. with antique historical subjects representing civic virtue and justice, and with allegorieal figures. On the or gan doors of the Minster of Basel he painted. in brown monochrome, grandiose figures of saints and angels singing. Among his panel pictures is an altarpiece of "Passion Scenes" of great dra power and line effects of light :Ind shade, and the "Dead Body of Christ" (1521), of strik ing, almost repulsive realism—all in the .Musentit of Basel. Among other works of this period is the "ladonna with Saints l•rsiis and .lartin" (1522). in the of Solothurn.
liolbein's best•known work is the "Madonna of Burgomaster Meyer." painted in 1525 or 1526, which holds the same rank in Gorman painting as the "Sistine 'Madonna" in Italian. The original is in the Gallery of Darmstadt, the 1)resolen ex ample having been proved to be an excellent copy by a Netherlander of the seventeenth cen tury. Especially fine. in this picture, are the portraits of the kneeling Burgomaster and his family, and the nude figure of his youngest son —a cherub worthy of Correggio.
His portraits of this period include the refined face of Bonifazius Ainerbrieh (1510), the first great German art eolleetor, and three likenesses of Erasmus. who was then a resident of Basel— two in profile. at Basel and in the Louvre, and a larger three-quarter view in Longford Castle. liolbein's mastery of female portraiture is shown in his two allegorical representations of Dorothea Ofrenburg in the Basel Alusenin—"The La is Co rinthiaca" (152“). and another portrait in which she is represented with Cupid.