HOLBEIN, Ambrosius
(b. 1495, Augsburg, d. 1519, Augsburg)

The Island of Utopia

Woodcut, 17,8 x 11,8 cm
Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

Ambrosius Holbein contributed woodcuts to illustrate Froben's edition of Sir Thomas More's Utopia that was published in Basel in 1518. One shows a bird's eye view of the rocky island of Utopia (which in Greek means "no-place") surrounded by water. In the centre of the country lies the capital Amaurotum ("Mist-town") on the river Anydrus ("Waterless"). Its source (Fons Anydri) and mouth (Ostium Anydri) are labeled. Bottom left is the seafarer Hythlodeus, who according to the book discovered Utopia.