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

Leaina Before the Judges

1517-18
Pen and brush in black and gray, with gray wash, 212 x 164 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

The picture shows the Greek hetaira Leaina in front of the judges in Athens, courageously biting off her tongue in order not to have to testify against the murderer of the tyrant Aristogiton. Holbein painted this scene on the façade of the top story of the Hertenstein house in Lucerne, responding to the challenge of the elevated position of the picture by the bold use of an under view. The white spaces at the top of the picture are left for the beams supporting the roof, which Albert Landerer reproduces in his reconstruction drawing.




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