Follower of Hans Holbein II
Follower of Hans Holbein II

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Follower of Hans Holbein II
Erasmus of Rotterdam
oil on panel
14 3/8 x 10 7/8 in. (36.5 x 27.6 cm.)
Lucien Baszanger collection, Geneva, by at least 1950.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, London, 13 December 1978, lot 7, as 'Holbein'.
L. Réau, Collection Baszanger, Geneva, 1950, p. 95, no. 48, pl. XIV, as 'Hans Holbein the Younger'.
L. Réau, Les mai^tres anciens de la collection Baszanger, Geneva, 1957, no. 47, as 'Hans Holbein the Younger'.
L. Réau, Collection Baszanger: Les Maîtres Anciens, Geneva, 1967, no. 39, as 'Hans Holbein the Younger'.
Delft, Musée Municipal Prinsenhof, Vijftig werken uit de collectie Baszanger te Genève, 1953, no. 18, as 'Hans Holbein the Younger'.
Geneva, Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Cent tableaux de la Collection Baszanger, no. 35, 1955, as 'Hans Holbein the Younger'.
Brou, Musée De L'ain Bourg en Bresse, Exposition Organisée par la Ville de Bourg-en-Bresse en hommage à Marguerite d'Autriche, Fondatrice de Brou (1480-1530), 1 June-15 July 1958, no. 139.

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Nikki van Beukering
Nikki van Beukering

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Lot Essay

Hans Holbein the Younger painted Erasmus of Rotterdam on several occasions and appears to have enjoyed a close relationship with the great Humanist writer. When Holbein traveled to England in 1526, it was Erasmus’s letters of introduction that provided him access to key patrons within Henry VIII’s court, including Sir Thomas More. The present portrait derives from the autograph likeness that Erasmus is believed to have sent to William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury in 1524, which today is in the collection of the Earl of Radnor, Longford Castle, Wiltshire (London, National Gallery, on loan). It is closest to the version in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma, in which Erasmus is similarly depicted resting his hands on an open book of his writings, inscribed 1530.

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