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

Christ as the True Light

c 1526
Woodcut, 84 x 277 mm
Kupferstichkabinett, Öffentliche Kunstsammlung, Basel

The subject matter of the picture is typical of the Reformation. In the centre of the picture is a candelabra supported by the symbols of the Evangelists. The light from the candle illuminates the entire picture. Christ draws the attention of His flock, which includes people of modest rank, to the flame of the Gospels. On the right, ecclesiastical dignitaries and scholars follow the philosophers of antiquity Plato and Aristotle, who represent humanist and scholastic attempts to explain the world, and they are seen stumbling blindly towards the abyss.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.