Portrait as Performance

Meet the Tudor characters that populated Hans Holbein’s world

Hans Holbein the Younger, <em>Portrait of a Woman, Possibly from the Cromwell Family</em>, ca. 1535–40 (Toledo Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons)
Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of a Woman, Possibly from the Cromwell Family, ca. 1535–40 (Toledo Museum of Art/Wikimedia Commons)

If you’ve ever been sucked into the world of Tudor England, whether by Wolf Hall, The Tudors, or one of the novels about Anne Boleyn, you’ve likely met Hans Holbein. Born in 1497, he learned to paint from his father, Hans Holbein the Elder, and went on to become arguably the finest portraitist of the 16th century. Now Holbein: Capturing Character, the first major show dedicated to the artist in the United States, is being held at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City through May 15. Smarty Pants jetted to the Big Apple to bring you on an audio tour of the exhibition with Austėja Mackelaitė, the Annette and Oscar de la Renta Assistant Curator at the Morgan and a co-curator of the exhibition.

Virtually follow along our stops on the tour:

Go beyond the episode:

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Stephanie Bastek is the senior editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.


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