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Holbein Portrait Drawings: 44 Plates by Hans Holbein the Younger (Dover Art Library) Paperback – 28 Mar 2003

4.1 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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  • Holbein Portrait Drawings: 44 Plates by Hans Holbein the Younger (Dover Art Library)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications Inc. (28 Mar. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486249379
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486249377
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 0.4 x 28.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 90,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

From the Back Cover

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543) ranks among history's most gifted and perceptive portrait painters. His objectivity, realism, and superb draftsmanship have influenced artists and commanded the admiration of the world for over four centuries.
This handsome volume presents 44 of Holbein's finest portrait drawings, created while he worked as court painter to Henry VIII. This artist's record of one of the world's most brilliant and tempestuous courts, in drawings and finished portraits executed with inimitable sensitivity and impeccable draftsmanship, is unique in the annals of history and art. Here are revealing, detailed depictions of a gallery of powerful personalities: Sir Thomas More; Jane Seymour; Edward, Prince of Wales; Anne Boleyn; William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury; Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey; Sir Thomas Wyatt; Nicholas Bourbon the Elder; and many others. Informative captions provide identification of the sitters, dates, dimensions of the drawings, and notes on the media.
Today the original drawings can be seen only in the collection of the Royal Library at Windsor. This inexpensive Dover edition makes them widely available to all art lovers. Moreover, every effort has been made to retain the quality of the originals--subtleties of tone and shading, fine detail, and telling nuances of expression. The drawings comprise a priceless archive of important personalities in Henrician England, a record of great value to historians, scholars, costume and cultural historians--anyone interested in that turbulent era and the astounding painter who helped preserve it.
Dover (1985) original publication.


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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book is ideal for art students or anyone who wants to enhance their drawing skills through copying the drawings of the Old Masters. The drawings are of really good quality and practially every single drawing is suitable for practical purposes. The book is what is called "value for money", strongly recommend to anyone who is studying art. Holbein Portrait Drawings: 44 Plates by Hans Holbein the Younger (Dover Art Library)
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With the exception of the cover image the inner 44 plates are extremely poor quality. The sensitivity and subtlety of the original drawings have been completely lost and one is presented instead with leaden grey images that look as if they were produced on a tired old office photocopier on a bad day.

It's such a pity, the originals are some of the most vibrant and fresh portrait drawings of any era and they are reproduced here with such total disregard for quality and fidelity.

Yes, it's a low cost publication, but I would have preferred ten good quality plates for the same money.

The publishers should be ashamed to produce such rubbish.
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Holbeins drawings are masterpieces, and I have seen many of the originals at Windsor and the National portrait gallery. The book has a shiny top cover, but the images and paper quality of the inner pages are not good at all. They look like a photocopy you would make at a library, and as such they lose all the subtle nuance of line. Yes, it is a cheap book, and it may be good for those wanting a quick glance. Id recommend spending more and reviewing the book elsewhere in person at a shop. I know if I had seen this in a shop I would not have considered it.
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If you don't know much about Holbein then this is a good book to start with as it's inexpensive and contains a large number of illustrations which introduce his style. Holbein was one of the greatest portrait painters of all time and there are some great 'coffee table' books to move onto after this if you're suitably enamoured with his handiwork.
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By Peasant TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 Mar. 2013
Format: Paperback
Holbein's drawings are uncannily modern; one feels one is in the presence of the sitter in a way which is not experienced with any other artist, not even the extraordinary Ingres. Only the most obstinate would now deny that he used an optical device; there is plenty of evidence from the time, but the assurance of the drawings is testament to the fact that the skill of the draughtsman is still the most important thing.

Dover Art Library's collection is useful for the student but suffers from being in monochrome; Holbein's drawings (despite the assumption of another reviewer that they are charcoal) were made in coloured chalks, often on tinted paper. Any coloured reproduction will show that Holbein was a master not merely of line but of the infinite subtleties of skin tones. Broad sweeps of rich colour often indicate those which will apear in the final oil composition.

Far more Holbein drawings survive than the oil paintings which in many cases were made from them. However, we have enough finished protraits to show the extent to which Holbein modified his observations in the process - not just when dealing with a near-psychopathic monarch, but when painting for quite ordinary clients. Mary, Lady Guildford, a buxom lady with a remarkable twinkle in her eye, was toned down to a sober matronliness for the finished job, while her husband's bland, relaxed face is sharpened into a more warriorly resolve. Anyone wishing to understand Holbein's skill would be advised to get a book with a greater range of his work in it.

This is an inexpensive book and does do what it says on the tin. A greater insight into Holbein's work can be found in the flawed but still valuable Holbein in England, which for a few pounds more has colour reproductions (not all as big as these) and some nice comparisons between drawings and oils.
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This is a low cost book and excellent for those who want to see some A4 size reproductions of Holbein drawings

There are no descriptions or background notes, but at this price you shouldn't expect them.
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It's not easy to get images of Holbeins wonderful drawings. as a Tudor-phile I love to see what the characters looked like (the cover is Anne Boleyn), so this is a boon, but one printed on really cheap paper which is unpleasant to the touch. A pity.
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bought this for a present, really pleased with the book. the drawings are really good to help with in the study of portraiture
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