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belonging, it is true, not to King Richard's time, but to the beginning of the fifteenth century, has been painted over in oil colours, especially the face, whilst the brilliant royal robes in which Richard is dressed show still some traces at least of the original painting. Of other persons of the fourteenth century may be seen, although not the contemporaneous original portraits, yet copies of them. There are specimens, for instance, of likenesses of King Henry IV., among which, No. 10, from Windsor Castle, claims especial attention, as well as the little picture of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet (No. 8), lent by the Bodleian library of Oxford. Highly interesting, although likewise only later copies, are the portraits of the celebrated General John Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, and his consort (Nos. 19 and 20), belonging to the Marquis of Northampton. Both represent the bust of a figure painted in an attitude of prayer; and to the left there is visible a glory, to which they have lifted up their eyes. Talbot is wearing brassards and a tabard; his face, beardless, as was the fashion in his time, exhibits an expression of genuine piety. Both figures have probably been copied from parts of an epitaph picture.

An exquisite original painting of the fifteenth century is the portrait of Edward Grimston (No. 17), ambassador at the Court of Burgundy, in the reign of Henry VI., and known as the framer of the treaty between Burgundy and England. This picture, which is the property of the Earl of Verulam, is by one of the most celebrated pupils of the brothers Van Eyck, named Petrus Christus, and bears, as the Catalogue tells us, the name of the artist, and the year, 1446, on the reverse side. The works of this artist, especially his portraits, are very rare, and therefore this highly characteristic head occupies a very prominent position in the history of the fine arts.

There are two other original pictures of the Flemish school of that time, formerly in the possession of Horace Walpole, now belonging to the Duke of Sutherland. These are not without interest as works of art, but scarcely deserving a place in the Portrait Exhibition, as Mr. Nichols lately demonstrated in one of the numbers of Notes and Queries. No. 27, in which Walpole inclined to recognise Humphrey Plantaganet, Duke of Gloucester, and John Kempe, Archbishop of Canterbury, consists merely of fragments of a small altar, in the middle of which an adoration of the kings must have formerly had a place. Only the wings of the altar are exhibited, which contain some portions of this composition, viz., one of the kings and St. Joseph (whom the Catalogue passes off as the Duke of Gloucester clad in pilgrim garments). Two other panels, now inserted between these two parts, it is probable, formed the exterior parts of these wings. The figures of two of the four Church Fathers are visible on them,


one of whom the Catalogue very erroneously introduces as John Kempe. As regards their artistic character, these fragments appear to be akin to the style of Roger van der Weyden. By a less celebrated and somewhat later master of the same school, towards the close of the fifteenth century, is the little picture which passes as a representation of the wedding of Henry VI., verbosely described as such by Walpole, and even engraved in the recent editions of his Anecdotes of Painting. The subject it represents is the Betrothal of the Holy Virgin.

No. 18, the property of the Duke of Devonshire, is a perfect gem of the art of painting—a small folding altar. “Van Eyck or Memling” is the name of the artist given in the catalogue. It is painted by neither of the Van Eycks, but by Memling; which must be apparent to every one acquainted with the productions of this delightful artist, and has been universally admitted by the learned in art. Sir John Donne, with his wife and a little daughter, are kneeling before the Virgin and the Child, to whom an angel presents fruit, whilst a second angel plays to him on the violin. By his side is standing St. Catherine, by the side of his wife St. Barbara, the patron saints of Sir John Donne; the two St. Johns are visible on the wings, and a charming landscape, such as Memling loves, with a pleasant green, a bridge, a mill, and grazing cows, fills the background. A painting like this is an agreeable variety in an exhibition which is made up mainly of portraits. No doubt the portrait figures have in reality been the principal subjects in small altars like this painted for private devotion ; but in those pious modest times, when a head of a house resolved upon having portraits of himself and his family, he usually preferred to be represented in the company of God and his saints. In fact, there is nothing more sublime or more poetical than this genre for a family picture. The noblest feelings that could animate their souls are visibly expressed in these persons whilst in serene contemplation and exalted devotion they kneel by the side of the Holy Virgin and the Divine Child. No family pictures, as they are painted in modern times—even if composed by the refined taste of a Vandyck—are capable of producing such a touching impression as this work by Memling, or as Holbein's celebrated Madonna with the Meyer family—a picture in which the whole family, old and young, men and women, are seen kneeling in devout adoration before the Holy Mother, and being blessed with the benediction of the Divine Child whom she holds in her arms.

The most valuable pictures of the commencement of the sixteenth century are works of Dutchmen. For instance, two very fine pictures, the relation of which to English history, however, is very

(1) The original is in the possession of the Princess Charles of Darmstadt; a copy, jartly painted by Holbein's own hand, in the Dresden Gallery.

problematical figure in this collection. One of them, from Hampton Court (No. 58), does not, as has been hitherto believed, represent the children of Henry IV., but those of King Christian of Denmark. Mr. George Sharf has conclusively proved this in an essay in Vol. xxxix. of the Archæologia. It is a work by Mabuse, somewhat cold in the colouring of the flesh, like almost all his pictures, but one of his best productions. The other picture (No. 54), belonging to Mr. H. Musgrave, is said to represent the portraits of Henry VII. and Ferdinand of Arragon, but it contains in reality the likenesses of the Emperor Charles V. and King Francis I. of France, as proved by Mr. Sharf. Charles's physiognomy, with the immoderately long chin and the Hapsburg lip, is unmistakable. Besides this, he wears the Order of the Golden Fleece, and holds in his hand a globe with a view of the pillars of Hercules, his well-known device, upon it. The name of the artist is also wrong.

There can be no greater mistake than to attribute this picture to Holbein. The style differs entirely from his, and it is no doubt the production of a Dutch painter of the time and style of Quentin Matsys. The arrangement and the conception, as well as the somewhat reddish tint of the fleshcolour, plainly betray the influence of this latter painter, but some exaggerations in the drawing, especially in the hands, forbid its being ascribed to him. It is, indeed, not surprising that this picture bears a wrong name when we consider the number of pictures which in this exhibition pass under the name of Holbein.

The great artist, who during the reign of Henry VIII. lived for many years in England, has been made responsible for almost all portraits that in his time, and also many years previously as well as afterwards, were produced in this country. This exhibition shows how enormous is the abuse made of his name. There are not less than sixty-three pictures ascribed to Holbein, and among these there are only nine originals painted by him. Mr. Wornum, who is also writing a work on Holbein, is of the same opinion, and differs from the writer of this article simply with regard to the portrait of the Duke of Norfolk (No. 165), the genuineness of which he doubts, but which I accept as an original.

The latest researches respecting Holbein all tend to prove that the great master belonged far more to his own fatherland and less to England than was, up to recent times, believed to be the case. Some years ago, it is well known, Mr. Black discovered in London the will of Holbein, proving that he died in 1543, and not in 1554, consequently eleven years earlier than had generally been supposed. Not long afterwards the writer of this article proved that the artist was not born in 1498 but three years earlier, in 1495. His researches also prove that the time Holbein stayed in Germany was longer, and the time he stayed in England shorter, than has been hitherto believed. Moreover, the latter period is diminished still more by the fact that the first visit which Holbein paid to his native country after he had taken up his abode in England was not a transitory one, but lasted for several years. We know that, by the latest discoveries in the Archives of Basle, he was occupied there from the year 1529 to 1531. Moreover, all the works that Holbein painted in England are no longer preserved here.

A number of his most excellent pictures have found their way to the Continent. Among all his productions, as far as they are known to me at present, there are five which must be pre-eminently considered the chefs d'oeuvre of his English period. Of these there are two in England and three in Germany. The best picture by Holbein which I have seen in England is the portrait of the Duchess-Dowager of Milan at Arundel Castle. It surpasses even the beautiful and well-known picture in the collection of Lord Folkestone at Longford Castle, representing the life-size portraits of Sir Thomas Wyatt and an unknown learned gentleman. The three other works, which are found in German collections, are the portrait of the goldsmith, Mr. Morrell, in the gallery at Dresden, that of the merchant, George Gyzen, in the museum at Berlin, and that of Queen Jane Seymour, in the Belvedere Gallery at Vienna. An inferior copy of this picture is in the exhibition (No. 125).

The highly important discovery of the year of Holbein's death has essentially and considerably diminished the number of pictures ascribed to his genius; and yet, many collectors make such an indiscriminate use of his great name, by which they attempt to shed a lustre on their artistic treasures, that they disregard alike historical truth and facts. In the Catalogue of the Exhibition there are still enumerated many pictures which could only have been painted after Holbein's death. This reminds one of the story which is reported to have occurred many years ago in the kingdom of Saxony. Holbein's portrait of Mr. Morrell, in the gallery at Dresden, was ascribed to Leonardo da Vinci, until learned men demonstrated the erroneousness of this pretension, especially with reference to W. Gollar's engraving of this portrait, which divulged the real name of the painter as well as that of the person represented. The late King of Saxony could on no account be prevailed upon to have the name of the artist corrected in the catalogue.

“ We shall have no Leonardo da Vinci then,” was the conclusive objection with which he met all remonstrances on the subject; and it was not until after his death that the correct name of the artist was permitted to be attached to the picture, upon which occasion the Board of Administration, as in duty bound, speedily procured another “ Leonardo da Vinci” for the Gallery in

its place.

In the National Portrait Exhibition this naïveté is carried so far

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that various pretended pictures by Holbein are exhibited which notoriously cannot but have been painted after 1554, the formerly accepted year of Holbein's death. Sir John Thynne (No. 161, the property of the Marquis of Bath) is signed 1566; the Countess of Lennox (No. 236, from the collection at Hampton Court) is painted in 1572; and Ambrose Dudley, Earl of Warwick, who was born in 1530, and only thirteen years of age at the date when Holbein died, is represented as an old gentleman with grey hair (see picture No. 302, belonging to the Marquis of Salisbury). As the present Portrait Gallery is a collection of pictures which have been lent for the purpose of exhibition, the arrangers of it naturally determined to leave all names given by the owners untouched, and their Catalogue, therefore, very properly declines all responsibility in this respect. Acting on these principles, we venture to think that it was unnecessary for the editor of the Catalogue, Mr. Samuel Redgrave, to side with the owners of the pictures in discrediting the correctness of the real year of Holbein's death. He says: “ There is yet, we venture to think, just sufficient absence of absolute proof of the identity of the testator with the painter to allow of that further examination of a question of so great interest which the present collection very opportunely offers."

Mr. A. W. Franks, who dilated on this discovery in an article published in the Archæologia, tendered the proof of the identity of the painter with the testator, who is named “ John Holbein, servant to the King's Majesty,” in the most striking and convincing manner. Moreover, all other arguments become nearly needless by the discovery, about six months ago, of a document in the archives at Basle. This document, found by Mr. His-Hensler, and published in my work, “Holbein und seine Zeit," is a letter written by the burgomaster and council of Basle in the year 1545, which refers to Philip Holbein, the hitherto entirely unknown son of the celebrated painter, at that time a goldsmith's apprentice. In this letter the

; great artist is mentioned as “ weiland Hans Holbein selig” (the late Hans Holbein).

Of every nine so-called Holbein pictures in the Exhibition, there is, on an average, but one original. This proportion may be admitted for England in general, but in some places it is still less. On this occasion it may be observed that of the twenty-seven pictures bearing the name of Holbein in the collection at Hampton Court, only trco can be considered originals, namely, the portrait of Reshemeer, & gentleman from Cornwall, and the likeness of Lady Vaux, which, on account of its being very much painted over, is scarcely admissible. A picture, dated 1512, said to have been painted by Holbein, of his parents, is a very interesting one, and the production, I think, of a Holbein ; but certainly not of Hans Holbein, the son,

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