Feb 21, 2007
Jan 5, 2010

Sir Thomas More

Sir Thomas More


follower of Hans Holbein the Younger

(German, active England and Switzerland, 1497/98–1543)

Oil on wood in a gilt wood frame

Framed: 8.6 x 8.6 x 1.3 cm (3 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 1/2 in.); Diameter: 6.5 cm (2 9/16 in.); Unframed: 6.7 x 6.4 cm (2 5/8 x 2 1/2 in.); Diameter of frame: 8 cm (3 1/8 in.)

The Edward B. Greene Collection 1957.356



One of the most original of Renaissance thinkers, an influential politician at the court of Henry VIII, and, since 1935, a saint in the Roman Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More also played an important role in the development of English portraiture through his patronage of Hans Holbein the Younger. Here More wears a so-called livery chain, a mark of his service to Henry VIII. He would eventually be beheaded in 1535, when he refused to support the king’s divorce and breach with the Catholic church. This miniature painted by a later follower of Holbein attests to the enduring resonance of More’s image and legacy.

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