Hans Holbein the Elder was
born in Augsburg, the son of an artist, where he spent most of his life.
From Augsburg he travelled to the other cities of Germany, such as Ulm,
Munich, Frankfurt-am-Mein, etc. to fulfill commissions, mostly for churches
and monasteries. He was an acknowledged master of altars in the Southern
Germany. In Augsburg both his sons, Ambrosius
, were born. They both received their
professional training in the workshop of their father. In 1516 Hans Holbein
the Elder left his native Augsburg and settled in Eisenheim, where he died
eight years later.
In 1501, Hans Holbein the
Elder created an altar for the Dominican church in Frankfurt-am-Mein. Part
of the right wing of the altarpiece, called Death
of the Virgin
is in Basel now. The dying Virgin is surrounded
by the twelve apostles; the skill with which Hans Holbein the Elder depicts
the faces reveals him as an outstanding portraitist. And the Portrait
of 34-year-old Woman
, which the painter executed in Basel while
visiting his sons there, is not only the masterpiece of the artist, but
also a pearl of all German painting of early 16th century.
Hans Holbein der Ältere. by N. Lieb and A Strange. Berlin.
Painting of Europe. XIII-XX centuries. Encyclopedic Dictionary. Moscow.