Excerpt from Art Gems: A Series of Thirty High-Class Engravings From Pictures by the Most Eminent Painters, Ancient and Modern
Hans Holbein the younger (so called to distinguish him from his father, whose Christian name was the same) was born at Augsburg in the year I495. Belonging to a family of painters, and living, so to speak, in an atmosphere of art, he soon caught the enthusiasm of those around him, and commenced the study of his profession at a very early age. There was no lack of good instruction for him, as without mention ing his father, who was himself a good painter, and to whom he was indebted for many valuable lessons, he always had at his disposal the assistance Of his uncle Sigismund and of his brother Ambrose. Under these favourable circumstances, and possessing a full share Of that passion for art which was beginning to be felt in Flanders and Germany at the commencement of the 16th century, his progress was unusually rapid. An occasional visit to Italy did much to improve his style, and at seventeen years of age he possessed a thorough knowledge of his profession; at twenty he was a master.
Although no satisfactory account has yet been written of his travels, the fact is well ascertained that Holbein settled 'at Basle in the year I 516, having previously made a' short stay there in I 513. Basle was then famous for its press, and the young Augsburg painter soon found employment in designing illustrations for books. Success in this comparatively humble branch of his art gradually led to better things, and in course of time he not only achieved a reputation as a portrait painter, but was also entrusted with the execution of some very extensive frescoes. He became a member of the corporation of painters in I 519, and shortly afterwards received the freedom of the city. Basle thus became his second home.
The name of Holbein was now well known in the world, and his friend Erasmus8 costume OF A basle lady.
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