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Nicholas Kratzer

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Nicholas Kratzer

after Hans Holbein the Younger
oil on panel, late 16th century, based on a work of 1528
32 1/4 in. x 25 1/2 in. (819 mm x 648 mm)
Purchased, 1979
Primary Collection
NPG 5245

Sitterback to top

  • Nicholas Kratzer (1487-?1550), Mathematician and astronomer. Sitter in 1 portrait.

Artistback to top

  • Hans Holbein the Younger (1497 or 1498-1543), Painter, printmaker and designer; son of Hans Holbein the Elder. Artist associated with 308 portraits, Sitter associated with 25 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Kratzer is portrayed holding a pair of dividers and an unfinished polyhedral dial, the gnomons of which lie on the table, with a pivoting rule, ruling knife, burin, scissors and another dialling instrument. The piece of paper is inscribed in Latin: 'The portrait of Nicolaus Kratzer of Munich, a Bavarian, taken from life when he was completing his forty-first year'. The portrait is a version after Holbein's original now in the Louvre, Paris.

Linked publicationsback to top

Events of 1528back to top

Current affairs

King Henry VIII and Francis I of France declare war on the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. The resultant trade embargo with the Netherlands causes economic depression and civil unrest; England is forced to declare a truce.

Art and science

The Italian writer Baldassare Castiglione publishes Il Libro del Cortegiano (The Book of the Courtier), an influential guide to courtly behaviour.
The Swiss alchemist and chemist Paracelsus publishes Die Kleine Chrurgie (The Small Book of Surgery), the first European surgical manual.


French forces are expelled from Naples and Genoa.
The Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca becomes the first recorded European visitor to present-day Texas.

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