HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER: Sir Thomas Elyot

Hans Holbein Sir Thomas Elyot

Hans Holbein, Sir Thomas Elyot, 1532-33, Royal Collection, Windsor Castle.

Hans Holbein the Younger returned to England in 1532 to work at the court of Henry VIII, where he was appointed painter to the king in 1536. In this capacity, he produced portraits of members of the royal family and eminent courtiers. His preparatory drawings often attain an even higher level of verisimilitude than the finished paintings.

SIR THOMAS ELYOT was a diplomat, clerk to the Privy Council, the sheriff of four counties and MP from the borough of Cambridge. A friend of Sir Thomas More, Elyot was also a humanist scholar, counting among his works the first comprehensive Latin dictionary, The Boke, called the Governour (a 16th-century best-seller), The Castel of Helth and translations of Plutarch and Pico della Mirandola. He sat for Holbein’s portrait around the age of 44.

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