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

Title page in the form of a Renaissance niche

Woodcut, 180 x 120 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

Holbein worked as a designer of woodcuts from the beginning of his career, and a common commission was to design title pages of books. A space for the title would be left empty in the middle so that the text could be changed at will, a single woodcut usually being used for several books. This composition, in which putti hold a large unrolled sheet, was first used by the celebrated Basel printer Froben in 1516. His printer's mark, a caduceus held by a hand, is integrated into the lower part of the composition.

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