Holbein's paintings are very well known. We also know of the wonderful sketches of the family of Thomas More. However, perhaps less well known to some are his wonderful sketches for portraits of women of the royal court.
Somehow there is something far more fascinating about the unfinished sketch - its immediacy and its intimacy lend the illusion that you, too, are in the presence of that person at that time, then, just a breath away.
These faces are ageless, I feel I have seen them before, on a train, in the supermarket, somewhere, sometime, if not today.
Yes, I know the set of those eyebrows and the slightly downturned lip, a hint of disdain in the sadness.... Of course, you couldn't possibly know....
And this gaze, upright, steadfast true - the face of a young secretary that worked for me many years ago who I trusted totally and was never disappointed. All these are on-line in the Royal Collection -just click here to visit and type Holbein in the search box.