We are always delighted to hear news of OV authors and what could be a greater accolade than being BBC 4’s Book of the Week? OV Franny Moyle’s (Co 80-82) book ‘The King’s Painter: The Life and Times of Hans Holbein’ is currently being serialised on Radio 4 and read by Sir Simon Russell Beale.
This is the first illustrated biography of Hans Holbein, the painter who depicted some of the most powerful people of the early sixteenth century. Hans Holbein the Younger is chiefly celebrated for his beautiful and precisely realised portraiture, which includes representations of Henry VIII, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Anne of Cleves, Jane Seymour and an array of the Tudor lords and ladies he encountered during the course of two sojourns in England.
Holbein was a multi-faceted genius: a humanist, satirist, political propagandist and contributor to the history of book design as well as a religious artist and court painter. The rich layers of symbolism and allusion that characterise his work have proved especially fascinating to scholars.
Franny Moyle traces and analyses the life and work of this extraordinary artist against the backdrop of an era of political turbulence and cultural transformation.
Franny also appeared in The Telegraph last week, in an article about how her interest in Hans Holbein was first sparked on a trip to the Bavarian city of Augsburg where she uncovered the earliest known portrait of Hans Holbein the Younger, painted in 1502 when he was just five years old.
On leaving King’s, Franny studied Art History at St John’s College, Cambridge. She is the former BBC Commissioner for Arts and Culture and is now a freelance executive producer and writer. Her other books include Constance: The Tragic and Scandalous Life of Mrs Oscar Wilde, Desperate Romantics: The Private Lives of the Pre-Raphaelites, and The Extraordinary Life and Momentous Times of J. M. W. Turner.
You can listen to The King’s Painter on BBC iPlayer.