Program - Leisure - Hohenlohe region - Germany
Hohenlohe art

Darmstadt Madonna and Hans Holbein the Younger

The Darmstadt Madonna is an oil painting by Hans Holbein the Younger. Completed in 1526 in Basel, the work shows the Bürgermeister of Basel Jakob Meyer zum Hasen, his first wife (who had died earlier), his current wife, and his daughter grouped around the Madonna and infant Jesus. The meaning of the two other male figures on the left side (the Madonna's right) is, like the overall iconography of the image, not entirely clear. Franny Moyle writes that the man on the Madonna's right is Meyer, and "[t]he boy and baby may be a presentation of Meyer's two deceased sons...." The image testified to the resolutely Catholic faith of the Bürgermeister, who actively opposed the Reformation.
Holbein's Darmstadt Madonna was influenced by Italian Renaissance religious painting. Franny Moyle writes that it was influenced by Andrea Mantegna's 1496 Madonna della Vittoria, and that the two paintings' "perspective approach is almost identical." The Darmstadt Madonna may also contain elements of Netherlandish portrait painting. Earlier located in Darmstadt, hence its title, the work was on loan to the Städelschen Kunstinstitut in Frankfurt am Main from 2004 to 2011. In 2012, the painting was put on display in the Johanniterkirche in Schwäbisch Hall as part of the permanent exhibition of the Old Masters in the Würth Collection.

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497– 1543) was a German-Swiss painter and printmaker who worked in a Northern Renaissance style, and is considered one of the greatest portraitists of the 16th century. He also produced religious art, satire, and Reformation propaganda, and he made a significant contribution to the history of book design.

During your visit to this German region visit Johanniterhalle and learn more about the local artists.