He's the Man

I love Hans Holbein, the younger. Love. I picked up a nice skinny little book from Tachen (thanks to my friend Richard, I am really tuned into the world of Tachen art books and what good resources they are for a good price) from the Strand Bookstore
stall on the corner of 60th and Fifth Avenue at the bottom of Central Park (one of my favorite places to while away days like today...high blue skies, a little nip in the air, and the trees ablaze). The book is Holbein by Norbert Wolfe. It is well written, easy to dive into and a chance to learn about his artist. What I find amazing about Holbein is his absolute simplicity in everything he does. He is a great designer who uses his canvas to focus in on the person. His Jane Seymour, the third wife of Henry VIII, a homely girl by all accounts--and adorned her as a queen, using the plain grey background and shadow to set the figure off the canvas...and all of the detail and color only emphasizes her humility, piousness (she seems more than a little righteous)and plainess is deft. The picture above is one of a few of Holbein's rich commissions of people. I love her birdhouse ermine hat and the animals in the picture. The blue background is bold. Wolfe tells us that during that time people kept squirrels as pets. She may keep it as a pet, but from the looks of things, not much love lost.

Churning away on the paper. Anxious to do some illustration.

Portrait of a Lady with Squirrel and Starling
c. 1527/28
Oil on Wood
London, The National Gallery