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Erasmus of Rotterdam

A work made of woodcut on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of woodcut on ivory laid paper.




Hans Holbein, the younger
German, 1497-1543

About this artwork

Hans Holbein was the court painter of Henry VIII and probably executed the drawing for this allegorical woodcut of the humanist Desiderius Erasmus while the scholar lived in England. Set within a classicizing trellis, with antique sculptures rather than books, it refers to the writer’s passion for antiquity. Another portrait of Erasmus on display in this gallery, by Albrecht Dürer, was supposedly made from life, but it is equally formal and removed from the sitter. Erasmus wears a similar scholar’s cap and richly textured robe in both images, a habit denoting his profession and wealth.


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Prints and Drawings


Hans Holbein, the younger


Erasmus of Rotterdam


Germany (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Artist's working dates 1517–1543


Woodcut on ivory laid paper


28.5 × 15.4 cm (11 1/4 × 6 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

The Stickney Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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