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Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)

Sir Thomas More (1478-1535)

RCIN 912268

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This drawing is one of the first works made by Holbein after he arrived in England. It is a study for a painted portrait of Sir Thomas More, now in the Frick Collection in New York. More was a prominent lawyer, royal administrator, and author.

The drawing demonstrates Holbein’s masterful use of coloured chalks: he appears to have erased areas of the brown chalk to give a sheen to More’s fur collar. The contours of the drawing have been pricked with a pin to allow Holbein to transfer the design to another sheet.