Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)
Edward, Prince of Wales (1537-1553) 1538
Black and coloured chalks, and pen and ink on pale pink prepared paper | 26.4 x 22.4 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912200
A portrait drawing of Edward, Prince of Wales (1537-1553), later Edward VI, the son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour. The portrait is of the head only facing to the front. It is a preparatory study for a painting in the National Gallery of Art, Washington. Inscribed in an eighteenth-century hand at upper left: Edward Prince.
Prince Edward was born in October 1537. In 1539 Holbein presented Henry VIII with a portrait of the young Prince as a New Year's gift. This delicate drawing is a study for the painting now in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The little Prince would not have sat still for long and Holbein has only recorded the most important features in preparation for his painting. An inscription on the finished portrait urged the little boy to emulate his great father.
ProvenanceEdward VI, 1547; Henry FitzAlan, 12th Earl of Arundel; by whom bequeathed to John, Lord Lumley, 1580; by whom probably bequeathed to Henry, Prince of Wales, 1609, and thus inherited by Prince Charles (later Charles I), 1612; by whom exchanged with Philip Herbert, 4th Earl of Pembroke, 1627/8; by whom given to Thomas Howard, 2nd Earl of Arundel; acquired by Charles II by 1675
- Physical properties