Focus on: Holbein
Time: 10:30 - 13:00
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Course Code: VB714
Duration: 2 sessions (over 2 weeks)
What is the course about?
This arty history course will look at Holbein’s early training by his father Hans Holbein the Elder and look at some of his father’s works along with some of Holbein’s antecedents, and in doing so we will see the formation of Holbein’s style. We will also look at Holbein’s works in his adopted hometown of Basel and how they fed into the burgeoning print industry; his designs for physical objects as well as his growing success in the medium of panel painting.
From his birth in Augsburg, Germany in possibly 1497 or 98 to his death in London in 1543, Hans Holbein the Younger would emerge out of a European tradition of extreme verisimilitude that stretched back to artists such as Rogier van der Weyden, Robert Campin and Jan van Eyck. We will explore the tradition behind this Northern Renaissance style of painting against a background of rising religious turmoil in Europe that would ultimately affect the output of artists such as Holbein and lead to the migration of Holbein and other artists to Britain to seek their fortune. We will look at Holbein’s only surviving full-length double portrait. This painting has given rise to numerous publications all attempting to add meaning and to explain the various objects in the enigmatic painting. We will deconstruct this painting exploring the life of the characters in the work, the origin and possible meaning of the objects in the painting, the possible links to the political climate in England at this time, as well as Holbein and the patron’s own motivations behind commissioning the painting. And finally, will also look at the life of the object itself by deconstructing the 1994 to 1997 restoration of the Ambassadors. What was learned about the work from this complex project and how did it change our perception of this great work?
This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.
What will we cover?
• Holbein’s early years
• Holbein’s graphic works and designs
• Holbein’s portraiture and 'The Ambassadors'.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
• Discuss something about Holbein’s early years and works giving at least 2 examples
• List / describe 3 examples of his graphic works and designs
• Discuss Holbein’s motives behind coming to England.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
This course is suitable for all levels.
You should be able to follow simple written and verbal instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information, and will be invited to take part in group discussion.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
You will be taught online with slide presentations and group discussions. Handouts will be provided by your tutor to support your learning on the course; these handouts will be available online/digitally for download, not printed out for you.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
You might wish to purchase a notebook for taking notes. You might wish to buy some of the books on any reading list provided.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
You might also be interested in:
• VB299 - Focus on: Vermeer
• VB313 - Focus on: iconography
• VB704 - Focus on: Giotto
• VB151 - National Portrait Gallery
• VB234 - The history and meaning of portraiture.
Leslie Primo has spent more than 15 years giving lectures to the general public at the National Gallery for the Information and Education departments. During this time he graduated with a degree in History of Art and an MA in Renaissance Studies from Birkbeck, University College of London. In his studies he specialised in early Medieval and Renaissance studies, including, Italian Renaissance Drawing, Art and Architecture in Europe 1250-1400 Art and Architecture in Europe 1400-1500, Medici and Patronage, Narrative Painting in the Age of Giotto, and the work of Peter Paul Rubens focusing on his paintings of the Judgement of Paris, and Greek Myth in paintings. He is also an accredited Art Society lecturer.
Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.