Subject of Holbein painting identified

X-rays and infra-red photography used during conservation work on a portrait by Hans Holbein the Younger have identified the subject as Hans, a merchant working in London's steelyards, rather than the goldsmith Hans of Antwerp, the identity given to the man for over 400 years.

The subject of the painting had been misidentified when early repairs to the portrait hid important clues. Removal and repair of varnish and overpaint and the use of scientific techniques allowed experts to piece together the clues and declare the suject a wealthy German merchant.