Henry VIII and the Barber Surgeons. Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543) by Holbein . Oil on oak, 108.3 × 312.4 cm, Royal College of Surgeons of England, London.
This large-scale work was commissioned to commemorate the grant of a royal charter to the Company of Barbers and the Guild of
Surgeons on their merger in 1540. Presumably at the request of his clients, Holbein based the design on that of the miniatures
painted on Tudor charters of privileges. Henry did not sit for this last of Holbein's portraits of him. Working from an existing
sketch, Holbein painted him not so much as a living person but as an icon. The members of the company, however, were painted as
individuals. The figures of Sir William Butts and the doctor John Chambers are closely related to portraits of them