Portrait of a Member of the Weiss Family of Augsburg


Mixed technique on limewood
Inv. No. SG 457

41.7 × 35.2 cm

zur  Biographie

The elder Holbein exposes the Augsburg patrician’s frivolous character in a highly perceptive manner. This candidness apparently did not present a problem, for the work served to announce the cavalier’s marriageability, as is indicated by the carnations. Yet he did not depend solely on flowers and expensive clothing – a beret swathed with velvet ribbons, a brocade doublet and a silken shirt embroidered with gold. Three inscriptions, no less, point out his merits; the one on the whistle, for example, translates as “he suffers no hardship”. The massive advertising campaign was successful: a companion piece in a private collection, presumably executed at a somewhat later date, shows Mr. Weiss’s wife.

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