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    Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance
    A fascinating and highly entertaining look at one of the most important families of the Renaissance era--the Medici.
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    “Sister Wendy Beckett has transformed public appreciation of art through her astonishing knowledge, insight and passion for painting and painters.” This set includes Sister Wendy's Story of Painting, Sister Wendy's Odyssey, and Sister Wendy's Grand Tour. Simultaneously delightful and scholarly--this is a must have for anyone interested in art history.

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Entries in German Art (2)


Hans Holbein the Younger: Precise Rendering and Compelling Realism

Hans Holbein the Younger - The Artist's Family - 1528 - Oil on paper mounted on wood, 77x64 cm - Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel (click photo for larger image)Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497 – c. 1543) was a German painter, draftsman, and designer renowned for the precise rendering of his drawings and the compelling realism of his portraits, particularly those recording the court of King Henry VIII of England. 

Holbein dated this family portrait, which is painted on paper, in the bottom right-hand corner, but the last digit was lost when the figures were cut out round the outline later in the 16th century and subsequently stuck on a black-painted panel. Several considerations strongly suggest the portrait must date from 1528, shortly after Holbein's return from England: his son Philipp, born around 1522, is about six in the picture, and his daughter Katharina is hardly more than two; moreover, his children Jakob and Küngold, born around 1529 and 1530 respectively, are not present. The moving combination of resolution and frailty seen in this family portrait is unique in Holbein's production. The introverted mood of the work extends beyond the usual level of reticence in his English portraits.


Albrecht Dürer: the Greatest German Renaissance Artist

Albrecht Dürer - "Sylvan Men" with Heraldic Shields - 1499 - Oil on lindenwood, 49,3x15,9 and 49,7x15,7 cm - Alte Pinakothek, Munich (click photo for larger image)Albrecht Dürer (1471 – 1528) was the painter and printmaker generally regarded as the greatest German Renaissance artist. His vast body of work includes altarpieces and religious works, numerous portraits and self-portraits, and copper engravings. 

The two side panels that represent two "sylvan men" are wings to the portrait of Oswolt Krel. They bear the heraldic shields of the subject and his wife, Agathe von Esendorf. They originally let the portrait be closed from the retro; one could imagine, then, that despite the large dimensions, the painting was to be conserved closed. The present frame has been made recently.