The King's Painter by Franny Moyle to feature as BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week

We are thrilled to share that Franny Moyle's biography of the German painter, Hans Holbein - THE KING'S PAINTER: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANS HOLBEIN - will be featured as BBC Radio 4's Book of the Week.

The five episode series, which will be narrated by actor Simon Russell Beale, will air at 9:45 AM from Monday 3rd May to Friday 7th May.

Hans Holbein the Younger became court painter to Henry VIII and was regarded as a phenomenon in his day for his ability to bring the characters he painted to life.

His famous portrait of the Tudor King was so life like spectators fully expected arms and legs to move. One of his paintings of the dead Christ was so alarming that, when the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky saw it in 1867, he was so troubled by it that his wife had to drag him away fearing he might have an epileptic fit.

Holbein observed the extraordinary events of his century up close and painted the movers and shakers of the age including Desiderius Erasmus, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII, as well as the various women lined up to become the wives of the king, such as Anne of Cleves.

He was a contributor to the history of book design as well as designing jewellery, and elaborate weaponry. With a family in Basel and another in London, his life was as colourful as the times he lived through.

THE KING'S PAINTER: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF HANS HOLBEIN will be published by Head of Zeus on 27th May 2021.