Erasmus of Rotterdam, Oil on panel

To satisfy the great demand for likenesses of Erasmus among the scholar’s many patrons and admirers, Holbein and members of his Basel workshop produced numerous versions of the same image. Like the other painted representation of Erasmus on view in the exhibition, this portrait shows the scholar in three-quarter profile against a neutral background. Holbein achieved a stately monumentality by filling the narrow panel with Erasmus’s form and by depicting his austere but luxurious clothing: the black hat and voluminous robe with fur collar and cuffs.

Hans Holbein the Younger (1497/98–1543) (and workshop?)
Erasmus of Rotterdam, ca. 1532
Oil on panel
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Robert Lehman Collection; 1975.1.138

The Metropolitan Museum of Art