This miniature portrait is the earliest in NOMA’s collection. Handheld painting evolved as highly-skilled Medieval artists illustrating religious texts (illuminated manuscripts) liberated images from the bound page.

In the 1520s, portrait miniatures became essential communication and political tools in European court life. German artist Hans Holbein immigrated to England in 1532 to serve as the court painter for Henry VIII. Famously, Henry VIII relied on portrait miniatures to assess the royal women he considered for wives.

This German miniature from an artist working similarly to Hans Holbein depicts Ulrich von Hutten (German, 1488–1523), a scholar/poet known as a Protestant follower of Martin Luther.


  • Title: Ulrich von Hutten
  • Creator: Hans Holbein the Younger (school of)
  • Creator Lifespan: 1497/8-1543
  • Creator Nationality: German
  • Date Created: c. 1520
  • Location Created: Germany
  • Physical Dimensions: diameter: 1 1/2 in.
  • Type: Portrait Miniatures
  • Medium: Watercolor on parchment
  • Credit Line: The Latter-Schlesinger Collection, Gift of Shirley Latter Kaufmann in memory of Harry and Anna Latter
  • Accession Number: 74.345

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