Wenceslaus Von Prachna Hollar

M. Morett, c.1647
Engraving, After Hans Holbein
5.38 x 4.13 in
SKU: 7271g
In this print, Wenceslaus Hollar presents a portrait of Charles de Solier, comte de Morette, copying a painting and a drawing by Hans Holbein the Younger - both of which are kept in the Gemäldegalerie of the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Dresden. Copying works of famous masters was a common task of printmakers from the sixteenth through the nineteenth century. It allowed a wide audience to become familiar with the work, but it was also a lucrative source of income.

Wenceslaus Von Prachna Hollar was a prolific and accomplished Bohemian graphic artist of the seventeenth century. His work embraced a great variety of subjects, including scenes from the bible, historical pictures, maps, portraits of his chief contemporaries, views of cities, flower and fruit pieces, and various illustrations to books. His clever sketches of costume, his views of old London and other cities are invaluable to the historian. His engravings are executed with much spirit and carefully finished. Having produced more than 3000 different prints during his career, his works can be found in every major museum collection from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to the National Gallery in London.

Hans Holbein the younger was one of the most sought-after artists of the 16th century. He came from northern Europe at the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, emigrating to England where he became the court painter for King Henry VIII. Along with portraits of the king and his court, he also produced miniature portraits that are likewise prized for their sincerity and accurate likeness.

In this image, Charles de Solier is shown wearing fashionable clothing, including a fur-lined coat and a velvet had with an oval pin. Charles de Solier, comte de Morette, son of Aubertin de Solier, comte de Morette, was a French soldier and diplomat as well as a long-serving gentilhomme de la chambre to Francis I. He acted as ambassador to England on a number of occasions from October 1526 to June 1535. Morette was in London in 1534 when Henry VIII was attempting to win French support for his repudiation of Catherine of Aragon, in an alliance against Charles V. It was around this time when his portrait was painted by Hans Holbein the Younger.

Copies of this print are held in multiple collections, including the Royal Collection Trust: the collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

5.13 x 3.37 inches, artwork
15.63 x 13.88 inches, frame

Signed 'WHollar fecit ex Collectione Arundeliana,' lower right
Inscribed 'Holbein pinxit,' lower left

Framed to conservation standards using 100 percent rag matting and housed in a gold gilded frame
Overall good condition; some planar distortion and wrinkling to corners of print