With his deep Netherlandish influence, it should be no surprise to see the artist produce a painting such as this but in reality Holbein was more so a portrait painter. Essentially, that was his bread and butter - portraiture dominated his career and resulted in strong bonds with some powerful people which ensured his financial future was secured.
So what possessed Holbein the Younger to put together this scene back in 1533-1535? The main purpose of this piece is to portray the New Testament as a more compassionate text than the old, which is handled in the central part of this composition. Man is placed between both testament’s symbolic representatives - Prophet Isaiah on the left and St John the Baptist on the right. The latter points towards redemption in the form of Christ as the Lamb of God (as painted by Jan van Eyck in the lower central panel of the Ghent Altarpiece).
The work from Holbein can now be found at the Scottish National Gallery amongst a fine collection of art from a broad range of art movements. Many of the elements of this scene, although fairly easy to decipher for even the most casual of religious follower, are described in a small section of notes at the bottom of the painting. Naturally for the time, these are written in Latin.
The gallery where this painting can be found also holds several other works from this artist, though mostly study drawings for other portrait paintings. Amongst the highlights of the rest of their collection are Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent, Old Woman Frying Eggs by Diego Velázquez, Diana and Actaeon by Titian plus also Christ in the House of Martha and Mary by Johannesburg Vermeer.