Bernard Baron After Hans Holbein The Younger

King Henry VIII Granting A Royal Charter To The Barber-Surgeons Company

Bernard Baron After Hans Holbein The Younger

King Henry VIII Granting A Royal Charter To The Barber-Surgeons Company

This early 18th-century copperplate engraving by French engraver Bernard Baron (c.1696-1762) depicts King Henry VIII granting a royal charter to the Company of Barbers and the Guild of Surgeons following their merger in 1540.

Holbein’s large-scale original was produced following a commission by his clients. It’s essentially a group portrait with each figure meticulously rendered either kneeling or standing. This was the last portrait of Henry he completed and based on previous designs rather than taken from life. He appears statuesque, a typically iconic representation of State personified.

Tragically, the painting was seriously damaged during the Great Fire of London in 1666, as documented by 17th-century diarist Samuel Pepys. Today it resides at the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth.

On the King’s left: Serjeant-Surgeon, Thomas Vicary, his surgeons, Sir John Ayliffe, James Monforde and Richard Ferris and his barbers, Nicholas Simpson, Edmund Harman, and John Penn. Also depicted are Nicholas Alcock, Christopher Salmon (Master 1552) and William Tilley (Warden 1540, 1546). On the King’s right: His two physicians, Dr. John Chambers and Sir William Butts and his apothecary Thomas Alsop.

Held within a simple wooden frame.

Medium: Copperplate Engraving on paper laid on canvas.
Overall size: 33” x 23” / 84cm x 58cm
Year of creation: 1736
Labels & Inscriptions: To the most noble lord Richard Boyle Earl of Burlington and Cork etc., knight of the most illustrious Order of the Garter, on account of the restoration of the anatomy theatre constructed with the highest skill by the most celebrated architect Inigo Jones a hundred years before, which had decayed from old age, [restored] at his expense, with equal flair and the highest generosity, the Company of Surgeons of London humbly presents this picture of Holbein's, which is preserved in their hall, representing the gift of the diploma given with his own hand by Henry VIII.
Condition: Worn with various abrasions, scuffing, and tears. Frame with wear.
Provenance: Private Collection, England.
Artist’s auction maximum: £1,100

Bernard Baron was an accomplished French engraver and etcher who worked predominantly in England. He produced plates after Rubens, Raphael, Watteau, Titian, Hogarth, Holbein, Van Dyck, and Teniers among others. He’s represented in numerous public collections including the British Museum, Royal Academy in London, Royal Collection Trust and The Met Museum.

Bernard Baron

Bernard Baron

Bernard Baron was an accomplished French engraver and etcher who worked predominantly in England. He produced plates after Rubens, Raphael, Watteau, Titian, Hogarth, Holbein, Van Dyck, and Teniers among others. He’s represented in numerous public collections including the British Museum, Royal Academy in London, Royal Collection Trust and The Met Museum.

Learn more about Bernard Baron in our directory.

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