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I don’t know how or where Retronaut found 12 sketches by Hans Holbein the Younger, but they did. I have a Hans Holbein category archives with five posts and now I have six.

Queen Anne Boleyn, sketch by Hans Holbein the Younger. c.1534

Not all of the portrait sketches are related, but Sir Thomas More; Jane Seymour, Queen; Anne Boleyn, Queen and William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, are.

I hadn’t mentioned Warham before, but he was an important  character in the Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon saga. I’ll let an (edited) Wiki say what Warham’s role was, because it’s too complicated.

William Warham (c. 1450 – 22 August 1532),  began his career practicing and teaching law in London and Oxford. Later Warham took holy orders, became Master of the Rolls in 1494 while Henry VII found him a useful and clever diplomatist.

He helped to arrange the marriage between Henry’s son, Arthur, Prince of Wales, and Catherine of Aragon. 

Arthur died in 1502, and Warham was consecrated Bishop of London and became Keeper of the Great Seal, but his tenure of both these offices was short, as in 1504 he became Lord Chancellor and Archbishop of Canterbury. 

In 1509 the Archbishop married and then crowned Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon.

[Warham had serious quarrels with Bishops and so forth; he gradually faded into the background, and resigned the office of Lord Chancellor in 1515. He was succeeded by Thomas Wolsey.]

Warham was present at the Field of the Cloth of Gold in 1520, and assisted Wolsey as assessor during the secret inquiry into the validity of Henry’s marriage with Catherine in 1527. 

He was named as one of the counsellors to assist the queen, but, fearing to incur the king’s displeasure and using his favourite phrase, ira principis mors est (the king’s anger is death), he gave her very little help.

He signed the letter to Pope Clement VII, which urged the pope to assent to Henry’s wish. 

William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury. Sketch by Han Holbein the Younger. c.1527

NOTE: In an earlier post I said, “Hans is appointed King’s Painter having deftly survived Anne’s downfall, but his official portraits of her do not.” But, thanks to Retronaut, his official portrait sketch of her does. According to Holbein, Anna Bollein was the original spelling of her name. I have no idea why or when it changed.

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SKETCHES BY HANS HOLBEIN THE YOUNGER, 1526-1543


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