Sadly the original painting, dated at circa 1527, was lost several centuries ago. Thankfully this work has quite a number of copies still in existence from artists who followed on after Holbein. He was an artist that many studies in-depth so whilst this is not a major surprise, it has proved particularly helpful in understanding much more about how the original looked.

Besides copies of the original painting, there are also several study drawings from the artist’s own hand which were necessary in planning this complex composition. The Kunstmuseum in Basel owns one of these and it provides a rare insight into the artist’s preparatory techniques as most of his study drawings did not last to the present day.