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Tudor portrait to be shown alongside recently reattributed Holbein from the Getty's collection

January 25, 2007

LOS ANGELES—Beginning January 23, the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center will play host to a special loaned painting from the Mauritshuis in the Netherlands.  Hans Holbein the Younger’s Portrait of Robert Cheseman (1485-1547) will be on view in the Museum’s North Pavilion paintings galleries alongside the Getty’s An Allegory of Passion, which was recently reattributed to Holbein, and a work by Lucas Cranach the Elder, A Faun and His Family with a Slain Lion that the Getty acquired in 2003.

Holbein’s Portrait of Robert Cheseman (1485-1547) is considered to be one of the finest portraits of a courtier from the artist’s second London period.  Cheseman, who was 48 when Holbein painted this portrait, was thought to be falconer to King Henry VIII.  In the painting, the artist depicts him with a rare gyrfalcon, the largest of the hunting falcons.  Renowned for his meticulousness and lively execution, Holbein’s technique is apparent in this work from the sculptural rendering of the man’s face to the painstaking depiction of the falcon’s feathers.  Especially well captured are the subject’s piercing gaze and the tenderness by which he protects the bird.  Shortly after painting this portrait, Holbein became the court painter to King Henry VIII.

According to Anne Woollett, associate curator of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, “We chose to place this remarkable loan from the Mauritshuis next to our own Holbein to demonstrate the artist’s range and versatility while working in England.  The Portrait of Robert Cheseman epitomizes his forceful likenesses of members of the Tudor aristocracy, while the Getty’s painting features learned humanist subjects that also appealed to members of the court.  Additionally, the loaned work is being hung adjacent to Italian Renaissance portraits that were all painted about 1530, allowing visitors to compare techniques and approaches to portraiture by leading court artists throughout Western Europe who were all painting at the same time.”  [Note to editors: The Holbein will be hung near portraits by Sebastiano del Piombo, Jacopo Carucci (known as Pontormo after the Tuscan town from which he came), and Titian, all of which were painted in 1532 and 1533.]

Portrait of Robert Cheseman (1485-1547) will be on view at the Getty Museum through April 22.

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Note to editors: Images available on request


John Giurini
Getty Communications

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