06 November 2014

The hands of Jane Seymour

This is a detail from a 1536 portrait of Jane Seymour by Hans Holbein.  Posted not for the hands per se, but rather to marvel at the exquisite detail the painter (or his assistants) incorporated into the depiction of the fabric. How is that even possible with a brush - a single bristle?  or did painters use pen and ink to render some parts of their designs?

Via Large Size Paintings.


  1. Embroiderers who do blackwork (the style of embroidery on the cuffs) love this portrait. It's one of very few that is so precise they can copy the pattern stitch-for-stitch: http://www.elizabethancostume.net/blackwork/seymour.html

  2. i like how the pearls are done.

    btw, i was thinking the same about the detail in the embroidery.


  3. I'm not an artist so I cannot answer your question, but it appears that the subject bit her nails. Not surprising considering her plight...

  4. I highly recommend the documentary "Tim's Vermeer" to learn the secrets of master painters.


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