Portrait Miniature of Margaret Roper

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Portrait Miniature of Margaret Roper
Hans Holbein the Younger - Margaret Roper (Metropolitan Museum of Art).JPG
Artist Hans Holbein the Younger
Year c. 1535–36
Type Bodycolour on vellum mounted on card
Dimensions 4.5 cm diameter (1.8 in)
Location Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Portrait Miniature of Margaret Roper is a painting by the German artist and printmaker Hans Holbein the Younger created between 1535–36, and today held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.[1] Margaret Roper (1505–44) was the eldest child of Sir Thomas More and wife of the English biographer William Roper. It is the second and less well known of two portraits of Roper painted by Holbein. The first, Portrait of an English Woman, is generally believed to show Roper but may depict another unknown lady of the English court. The New York work was painted during the artist's second visit to London, likely in the mid-1530s.[2][3]

It is believed that the work was created shortly after her father's beheading at the hands of King Henry VIII in 1535.[4] With a diameter of just 1 34 inches (4.4 cm), the work was one of over a hundred miniatures and portraits painted by Holbein while in England. This work is one of a pair of pendants; the second depicts the sitter's husband.

Roper is depicted in three-quarters view with a narrow face and wearing extravagant clothes that reflect her social position. She is wearing a gable hood with pinned up red/orange embroidered lappets (facing the viewer) and a long black veil (with one side pinned up). Her black gown is lined with a broad band of fur. She holds a green book in her hands which are decorated by gold rings. A horizontal gold inscription reads "Ao ÆTATIS XXX".[1] The work was donated to the Metropolitan Museum by the Rogers Fund in 1950.


  1. ^ a b "Margaret More". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved on 17 May 2009.
  2. ^ Goldberg, 92
  3. ^ "Hans Holbein the Younger, Portrait of an English Woman, a drawing". British Museum, Retrieved 11 April 2010
  4. ^ "Margaret More (1505–1544), Wife of William Roper, 1535–36". Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved on 17 May 2009.


  • Batschmann, Oskar & Griener, Pascal. Hans Holbein. Reaktion Books, 1999. ISBN 1-86189-040-0
  • Goldberg Jonathan. Desiring Women Writing: English Renaissance Examples. Stanford University Press, 1997. ISBN 0-8047-2983-2