Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/8-1543)
Margaret Giggs (1508-1570) c.1526-7
Black and coloured chalks | 38.5 x 27.3 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 912229
A portrait drawing of Margaret Giggs (1508-1570), the adopted daughter of Sir Thomas More. A bust-length portrait in profile to the right. She wears a fur hat. A study for the More family group (destroyed). Inscribed in an eighteenth-century hand at upper left: Mother Iak.
Margaret Giggs was the adoptive daughter of Sir Thomas More, Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII and author of Utopia. She was one of the few people present at the execution of More in 1535; Margaret and her husband remained committed Catholics and were forced into exile by Edward VI. This is one of several surviving studies by Holbein of More and his family, many of which relate to a painted portrait (the inscription ‘Mother Iak’ is an early misidentification of the sitter).
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
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