Picturing the Netherlandish Canon, The Courtauld Institute of Art




Hans Holbein



57. Hans Holbein

Etching
Signed Hh ex. by Hendrick Hondius, attributed to Simon Frisius
20.5 x 12.3 cm

Transcription of Inscription:

IOANNES HOLBENUS, BASILENSIS
Egregius pictor magno qui gratus Erasmo.
   His quantu1 accrevit laus, Basilea, tua !
Divisus nostro te suscipit orbe Britannus
   Holbene.  orbe uno laus tua non capitur.

Translation of Inscription:

Hans Holbein of Basel
An exceptional painter, who was pleasing to great Erasmus.  From this, Basel, how much does2 your praise grow!  The Briton, separated from our world,3 received you, Holbein.  Your praise is not contained by one world.


Orenstein 1996, Frisius no. 148; Hollstein 2008 no. 168
Karel Van Mander's biography of Hans Holbein
Grove Art Online biography


1.      Sic.

2.      The Latin reads “quantu”, which is either a misprint for “quantum”, or an attempt (I doubt it) to indicate that the “um” in “quantum” is elided.

3.      “divivus …orbe Britannus”.  Cf. Virgil, Eclogue 1.64, “toto divisos orbe Britannos”.   The expression is thenceforth very common for describing the Britons.



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