Nicholas Kratzer by Hans the Youngest Holbein

Nicholas Kratzer by Hans the Youngest Holbein

Peering into the portraits of Holbein, we admire the diversity and individuality of the images he created. Born in Bavaria, K. lived for about 30 years in England.

From 1521 he studied mathematics, astrology and astronomy in Oxford. He was a professional astrologer-consultant of the English King Henry VIII, played an important role in introducing knowledge of scientific instruments and technologies in England. The outstanding painter G. Holbein immortalized the image of K. in the portrait, which is now in the collection of the Louvre.

In another picture of Holbein, “Ambassador”, many of the tools made by K. are depicted. K. was a friend of Sir Thomas More and taught his daughters. Researchers note that K., apparently, had an outstanding character and great strength of judgments, because Henry VIII, known for his violent temper, was a very demanding client, his numerous marriages and antics could frighten the most zealous astrologer.

But the forecasts and advice given to King K. did not affect the fate of the consultant in a negative way. By the end of his life he was a respectable scientist, still a respected contemporary. Among the works of K. should be distinguished astrological guide “Canones horoscopi”.

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