Painter, draughtsman, stained-glass painter, copperplate engraver, wood engraver and commercial artist (male)
Assured documentary evidence about Holbein's apprenticeship and journeyman years is non-existent. As the son of an Augsburg master tanner, he was presumably trained as a painter in his home town, or possibly in nearby Ulm. In addition to local influences, his art was indebted to Netherlandish painting, which he had possibly come to know on a journey to Cologne, perhaps to Ghent or Bruges as well. From 1490 to 1515, Holbein ran a large workshop in Augsburg in which his sons Ambrosius and the younger Hans, probably his younger brother Sigmund, Leonhard Beck, and for a time Martin Schaffner were employed. Holbein received numerous commissions for altarpieces in the Augsburg and Ulm environs, among them a twelve-part Passion cycle, produced in 1495-1500, the so-called 'Grey Passion'. Around 1500 he moved to Frankfurt, where with his assistants he produced the monumental high altarpiece for the Dominican Church. In 1504 he worked together with Hans Burgkmaier on the basilica panels for Augsburg's St Catharine Cloister. After 1516 Holbein is documented in Isenheim and later again in Augsburg. In 1524 the Augsburg guild records list him as deceased. Holbein was one of the leading and most productive of his generation north of the Alps, and the first German artist known by name by whom a comprehensive corpus of drawings survives. His oeuvre, including some of the best portraits from the pre-Dürer period, exhibits in its later phase increasing Italian elements, and stands on the threshold between the Late Gothic and the Renaissance.