Hans of Antwerp thumbnail 1
Hans of Antwerp thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 58b

Hans of Antwerp

Oil Painting
ca. 1532 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

Object Type
This is one of the portraits that the German artist Hans Holbein painted of German merchants when he was resident in London in the years 1526-1528 and 1532-1543. The merchants resided in the Steelyard, which adjoined Dowgate. It was the place where the King's steelyard or beam was set up, for weighing goods imported into London.

Subjects Depicted
There is another portrait of the same man by Holbein in the Royal Collection. Some believe that the subject is the goldsmith Hans von Antwerpen (or Hans or John of Antwerp, as he was variously known in England). The rich costume suggests, however, that the sitter was a wealthy merchant, a member of the Hanse or league of German merchants. The Steelyard, or German House, was surrounded by a wall, which contained the merchants' warehouses, weigh house, church, offices and dwellings, which they had occupied since 1320. These merchants, originally from Cologne, were free from all London tolls and were permitted to trade at fairs throughout England. English merchants, jealous of their success, tried for many years to persuade the Monarch to revoke the privileges of these 'Strangers'. They were successful only in 1597, in the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The Steelyard was closed in 1598.

Object details

Categories
Object type
TitleHans of Antwerp (popular title)
Materials and techniques
oil on panel
Brief description
Oil painting, Hans of Antwerp (Hans von Antwerpen), by Hans Holbein, c.1532
Physical description
Oil painting
Dimensions
  • Unframed height: 13.1cm
  • Unframed depth: 0.8cm
  • Framed height: 13.6cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 11/01/1999 by N.Costaras
Style
Gallery label
British Galleries: The man in this portrait was probably a German merchant living in London. Hans Holbein, who was also a 'stranger', painted several foreign merchants and artisans during his two periods working in England (1526-1528 and 1532-1543) as well as members of the court. He also designed goldsmiths' work and the title page to the first complete English translation of the Bible.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Salting Bequest
Object history
Salting Bequest, 1910
By Hans Holbein (born in Augsburg, Germany, 1497, died in London, 1543), probably painted in London
Summary
Object Type
This is one of the portraits that the German artist Hans Holbein painted of German merchants when he was resident in London in the years 1526-1528 and 1532-1543. The merchants resided in the Steelyard, which adjoined Dowgate. It was the place where the King's steelyard or beam was set up, for weighing goods imported into London.

Subjects Depicted
There is another portrait of the same man by Holbein in the Royal Collection. Some believe that the subject is the goldsmith Hans von Antwerpen (or Hans or John of Antwerp, as he was variously known in England). The rich costume suggests, however, that the sitter was a wealthy merchant, a member of the Hanse or league of German merchants. The Steelyard, or German House, was surrounded by a wall, which contained the merchants' warehouses, weigh house, church, offices and dwellings, which they had occupied since 1320. These merchants, originally from Cologne, were free from all London tolls and were permitted to trade at fairs throughout England. English merchants, jealous of their success, tried for many years to persuade the Monarch to revoke the privileges of these 'Strangers'. They were successful only in 1597, in the reign of Elizabeth I (1558-1603). The Steelyard was closed in 1598.
Associated object
Bibliographic references
  • Foister, Susan, Holbein in England, London: Tate Publishing, 2007.
  • Foister, Susan, with contributions by Tim Batchelor. exh.cat. Holbein in England. London: Tate Publishing, 2006, p. 116, cat.no 127
Collection
Accession number
P.158-1910

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Record createdMarch 27, 2003
Record URL
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