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Hans Holbein

Price: $30.00
Sale Price: $22.50
Holbein’s woodcuts of the Old Testament, like Botticelli’s illustrations for the Divine Comedy (1481), represent one of the all-too-rare conjunctions of a great draftsman with a great work of literature. For it is anecdotally, as literature, almost as mythology, that the artist approached the Old Testament. Hans Holbein (1497-1543) designed his series of ninety-four illustrations at roughly the same time as his familiar suite of forty-one engravings of The Dance of Death, between 1525 and 1530, in Basel.

The 1520s were a period of violent religious controversy in Switzerland, and Holbein’s timeless images of the Old Testament contrast strikingly with the prevailing sectarian war of words over the other, later Testament. In Catholic Lyon at least, remote from the iconoclastic Lutheranism of Basel, the drawings were able to transcend doctrinal disputes. There they were published, between 1538 and 1549, in various editions, with Latin, French, Spanish, and English texts, to say nothing of copies of the woodcuts in complete editions of the Bible. But the images are best seen in the little Lyon editions, with their ample margins and brief, deferential text, where Holbein’s extraordinary economy of line and command of perspective can be admired without distraction.


-Commentary by Erika Michael, a northern European Renaissance scholar
-Searchable, cross-linked English translation of the French and Latin text
-Supplementary essay on woodcuts 
-Magnify up to 800%


-Digital images of every page of this rare book, cover to cover, in full color, presented as uncropped spreads
-Print and Thumbnails files for creating printed references
-Adobe Reader 3.0 with Search software
-PDF file on CD-ROM with all of Adobe Reader’s viewing, navigation, and search features
-Octavo Digital Guide and Help files


- Adobe Reader 5.0 or later 
- Windows PC with Pentium processor running Windows 95 or later
- Macintosh Power Mac running OS 9.2, or OS X 10.1 or later. Linux 2.2 kernel on X86 computer
- Color Monitor (15" or larger, capable of displaying millions of colors recommended)
- CD-ROM drive

The original book imaged for this digital edition: 7 5/8 x 5 1/2 inches (194 x 140 mm)
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