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English: Apollo and the Muses on Parnassus. Pen in black, over traces of black pencil, with grey, blue, and brown wash, 42.1 × 38.4 cm, Kupferstichcabinett, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Holbein's design is for a street tableau for the coronation eve procession of Anne Boleyn on 31 May 1533. He was commissioned by the Hanseatic merchants of the Steelyard, a complex of offices, warehouses, and dwellings on the north bank of the Thames near his lodgings. Having secretly married Anne in January, Henry VIII demanded that spectacular demonstrations of loyalty be staged for her coronation, and many pageants, tableaux, and arches lined the route as she was carried in a litter from the Tower of London to Westminster. Holbein designed an impressive edifice, which was constructed on the corner of Gracechurch Street. According to an observer, "Therein was the Mount Parnassus, with the fountain of Helicon, which was of white marble, and four streams without pipe did rise an ell high, and met together in a little cup above the fountain, which fountain ran abundantly with Rhenish wine till night. On the mountain sat Apollo and at his feet sat Calliope; and on every side of the mountain sat four muses, playing on several sweet instruments, and all their jests, epigrams and poesies were written in golden letters, in the which every muse according to her property praised the queen". (Reference: Derek Wilson, Hans Holbein: Portrait of an Unknown Man, London: Pimlico, 2006, ISBN 1844139182.)
|Source||Stephanie Buck, Hans Holbein, Cologne: Könemann, 1999, ISBN 3829025831.|
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