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Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)

Charles Brandon, 3rd Duke of Suffolk (1537/8-1551) Signed and dated 1541

RCIN 422295

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This grave and studious infant holds a paper which is inscribed with his age and the date on which the miniature was executed, 10 March 1541. Holbein uses this device, more commonly reserved for scholarly adults, to suggest the boy’s precocious intelligence. Charles Brandon and his brother fulfilled their early promise and were already celebrated scholars by the time of their early deaths from the sweating sickness, within half an hour of each other, in 1551.