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Hans Holbein the Younger - Sir William Butts, about 1541-1543

Hans Holbein the Younger (Augsburg, 1497 or 1498 - 1543, London)

Sir William Butts, about 1541-1543

Oil on panel , 46.8 x 37 cm (18 7/16 x 14 9/16 in.)


Hans Holbein the Younger is most famous as the portraitist to the court of Henry VIII. Holbein’s sober yet quietly sensitive images found great favor during the artist’s sojourns in London from 1526 to 1528 and from 1532 until the end of his life. William Butts (1485-1545) was a physician to Henry VIII and this portrait is one of a pair with his wife, Margaret Bacon, Lady Butts, also on view in the Dutch Room. In 1541, Holbein began the large group portrait, King Henry VIII Grants the Charter to the Barber-Surgeons, in which William Butts appears in the group of royal surgeons on the King’s right side. This single portrait was most likely done after Sir William was knighted in 1544.