HOLBEIN, Hans the Younger
(b. 1497, Augsburg, d. 1543, London)

Marginal illustration for Erasmus' In praise of Folly'

1515
Pen and black ink
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

Despite his youth, Holbein was immediately accepted into humanist circles in Basel. He made his artistic debut with some informal marginal drawings that he did in a first edition of Erasmus's Praise of Folly of 1515, which later belonged to Erasmus himself. These are remarkable for their wit, humanity and instinctive sympathy with the spirit of Erasmus's irony.