Museum to welcome major 16th century artwork

The Shetland Museum will this summer welcome one of the most important artworks to ever be exhibited in the isles.

Hans Holbein the Younger
A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling (Anne Lovell?), about 1526-8
The National Gallery, London. Bought with contributions from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and The Art Fund and Mr J. Paul Getty Jnr (through the American Friends of the National Gallery, London), 1992

The 1520s painting A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling, by Hans Holbein the Younger, is being loaned to the museum by the National Gallery as part of their Masterpiece Tour 2018.

Holbein, regarded as one of the greatest Old Masters of 16th Century art, is famous for creating aristocratic portraits such as Henry VIII. The painting to be loaned to Shetland depicts a sitter (possibly Anne Lovell) with creatures that are symbolic of the family name and coat of arms.

The painting will be exhibited from 4th May until 15th July this year.

Museum curator Dr Ian Tait said: “We are delighted to host Holbein’s A Lady with a Squirrel and a Starling.

“This prestigious loan will give islanders the unique opportunity to see, and enjoy, a masterpiece by a world-class artist, thanks to the kindness of a world-class gallery.”


Add Your Comment
  • David Spence

    • February 4th, 2018 15:00

    A fantastic and beautiful piece of artwork.

    It is certainly inspirational in reflecting the skill, talent and beauty of art of such a long time ago. I would anticipate this beautiful piece of artwork would encourage and motivate any person interested in art to bring out their skills in not only portrait art but many other forms of art.

    In many cases it also highlights, to a degree, the only way one could get a portrait of themselves was through art and literally nothing else.

    It reminds me of the Van Gogh painting ‘ The starry night ‘ where the subject of the painting was the sky and not the church steeple, village or the tree’s. I suspect Van Goghs starry night painting was inspired by the impact of the new technology which was emerging, this of photography, but moreso the subject of the sky and the stars being the main feature of the painting, which was very unusual within art.

    Photography may have inspired more artists to look within themselves and to transfer this into art as a representation of how they saw what was around them, hence, I think, the birth of modern art?


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