Hans Holbein the Younger painted Portrait of a Member of the Wedigh Family in 1532 while he was in England. It is an oil and gold on oak panel painting that portrays Hermann von Wedigh III, a Cologne-based merchant, who was likely the sitter. The coat of arms and merchant marks on the painting suggest that he was from a wealthy background.
Holbein painted for German merchants of the Hanseatic League during his time in England. He possibly met Hermann von Wedigh III through his connections with these merchants since Wedigh was also involved in trade. The portrait is a true representation of Holbein’s style with its sharp attention to realistic detail and exquisite use of color.
Portrait of a Member of the Wedigh Family is significant as it provides an insight into Germany’s social and economic history at this time. It shows how wealthy mercantile families were respected by society and valued art as much as they valued their financial success. Moreover, it highlights Holbein’s talent for capturing nuanced details in his paintings.
In conclusion, this painting is one of Hans Holbein’s finest works that offers clues about German art patrons during the 16th century. It showcases not only superb artistic quality but also historical significance within Germany’s social and economic landscape at this time period.