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Circle of Hans Holbein the Younger (Augsburg 1497/8-1543 London)
Circle of Hans Holbein the Younger (Augsburg 1497/8-1543 London)

The Massacre of the Innocents: Design for stained glass

Details
Circle of Hans Holbein the Younger (Augsburg 1497/8-1543 London)
The Massacre of the Innocents: Design for stained glass
with inscriptions 'I.B.1521.' on the right of the platform and 'Hans Holbein fecit'
black chalk, brush and grey and black ink, grey and blue wash, on five joined sheets, arched, the upper right corner made up
17¼ x 24½ in. (43.9 x 62.2 cm.)
Provenance
J.A. Weigel, Leipzig; Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 8 May 1883, lot 446.
Steiner, Stuttgart.
P. Ganz-Kern.
with Colnaghi, London.
L. Houthakker, Amsterdam (L. 3893).
Literature
P. Ganz, Dessins de Hans Holbein le jeune, Geneva, 1939, p. 140, no. 467, (addenda), dated 1518-9.
P. Fuhring, Design into Art: drawings for architecture and ornament, the Lodewijk Houthakker Collection, I, London, 1989, p. 242, no. 274.
Exhibited
Basel, 1928, no. 6.
Basel, Die Künstlerfamilie Holbein in Basel, 1960, no. 205.
Manchester, City of Manchester Art Gallery, German Art 1400-1800, 1961, no. 153.

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Lot Essay

Ganz and Fuhring both listed the drawing as by Hans Holbein in full, although Ganz believed it had been extensively reworked by a later hand. The Massacre of the Innocents was a subject often found in civic commissions as an allegory of bad government, although the present work, which bears the arms of Suterman of Bern, may have been commissioned by a private patron.

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