'The Meyer Madonna', after HolbeinPublisher:
The Arundel Society
, British, 1849 - 1897
, born 1817
, born 1817
Hans Holbein the younger
, German, 1497 - 1543
Material and Medium: chromolithograph on paper
Dimensions: Mount: 600 x 462mm
Accession Number: CGSG01474
This religious painting has taken its name from the man who commissioned the work, Jakob Meyer. Portraits of Jakob and his family surround the Madonna figure in this painting. Such portraits are known as 'donor portraits' and the paintings were usually commissioned to commemorate an important event.
Here Jakob, who was Burgomeister (mayor) of Basle in Switzerland, appears with his two sons, both of whom died in childhood. On the other side, his first wife Magdalena and second wife Dorothea kneel, together with Jakob's only surviving child, Anna.
The Madonna appears here as the Queen of Heaven, symbolised through her crown. Her maternal pose also shows her as a sympathetic and kind figure. Possibly, Meyer commissioned this work in the hope that such devotion to the Madonna would bring him better fortune. As well suffering the deaths of his first wife and two sons, Meyer was also fired from his position as Burgomeister.