As previously mentioned, Hans Holbein the Younger (c. 1497 - 1543) has long been one of my favourite artists and three of his works, Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (collection National Gallery, London) Portrait of a Young Woman (collection Mauritshuis, Den Haag), reproduced below as postcards collected from past travels, followed by Christina of Denmark (collection National Gallery, London) were very much in my mind’s eye when I made this work.
My partner, Shane Jones, shares my admiration for Holbein. We were extremely fortunate that our visit to London in 2006 coincided with Holbein in England, an extensive retrospective at Tate Britain. A room guide of the exhibition is HERE.
Some years ago, when my latest stay in London was coming to an end, I had a few hours to spare before heading for the airport. My friends Sue Verney and Bev Murray asked me how I’d like to spend my precious remaining time. Without hesitation, my request was to call into the National Gallery and revisit Holbein’s Portrait of a Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling and Christina of Denmark one last time.
Some of Shane’s and my greatest pleasures during lockdown were the films and illustrated lectures presented by the National Gallery’s YouTube channel, which we were able to project onto our home cinema screen. Their channel, which is highly recommended, is HERE.
For an illustrated talk on Christina of Denmark by Susan Foister, Deputy Director and Director of Collections at the National Gallery, go HERE.
The National Gallery is also home to one of Holbein’s most celebrated masterworks, The Ambassadors. Susan Foister discusses the work HERE.
How I miss London and its museums, which over many years have provided infinitely rich and varied sources of inspiration for my work. There is no substitute for seeing artworks and one’s friends in the flesh, but thanks to YouTube and regular phone conversations via WhatsApp with Bev, Sue and another steadfast and inspirational London-based friend, Barbara Britton, at least it feels as if the distance between us has shrunk a little.