Portrait of a Man in Royal Livery

Hans Holbein the Younger German

Not on view


The man in this portrait wears English royal livery, a uniform consisting of a red cap and coat embroidered with Henry VIII’s initials (HR), which identifies him as an artisan or attendant in the royal household. By having himself depicted in that costume, Holbein’s sitter emphasized his loyalty and service at court. The portrait likely once had a protective painted lid. Intimate portrait capsules of this type were both portable and more affordable than larger-scale likenesses.

Portrait of a Man in Royal Livery, Hans Holbein the Younger (German, Augsburg 1497/98–1543 London), Oil and gold on parchment, laid down on linden

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